Namoi Valley Archers 20 member team has returned from the Australian Field Archery Championships with a swag of medals after a superb performance by the whole team in the two disciplines contested over the Easter weekend. The championships were held at Hervey Bay, Queensland with archers from all states and territories competing in the biggest tournament held in the Southern hemisphere in 2008. The strong showing by the Gunnedah club is a vindication of the excellent preparation, coaching and support offered to club members who are striving to achieve their full potential as archers.
Namoi Valley Archers club members Karen Hudson, Matthew Wittman, Shane Thompson and Christopher Patrick scored double gold after winning their respective divisions in both disciplines, the ABA National Championships and the 3D Championships.
In the ABA National event Namoi Valley Archers finished with 7 gold, 7 silver and 1 bronze in a powerful performance. Karen Hudson scored a wonderful victory in Compound C grade setting up the win with a top class third round to power away from her opposition. Ann Stubbs turned in a stunning performance to take the Compound D grade title after a titanic battle. Stubbs held the overnight lead by just two points after the first two rounds but slipped 54 points behind after a tough third round. Undeterred Stubbs turned on an amazing comeback in the final round to snatch an unlikely victory by four points securing a very cherished gold medal. Ken Thompson backed up his win in the IFAA event with a top notch performance to take the Recurve Freestyle Unlimited crown shooting consistently over the four rounds. Wade Hudson took on the very best after being promoted to the elite Masters Compound division and showed why he is considered the best young barebow archer in the land after finishing with the silver medal. Hudson was locked in a three way battle with multiple Australian representatives Ed Hayes and Rhys Aizlewood. Despite a slow start Hudson showed all his mental toughness to match it with his older and more experienced rivals and come away with the silver medal and his reputation greatly enhanced. The club’s recurve exponents, Darrell Hudson - A grade, Peter Stubbs – B grade and Michael Patrick – C grade all scored silver medals with Stubbs shooting superbly just missing top spot in B grade by a heartbreaking 4 points. Cassie Ireland also secured silver with a last round surge in a quality performance over the four rounds. The club’s younger archers shot particularly well with Matthew Wittman shooting brilliantly to take the Freestyle Unlimited title. Wittman has improved dramatically over the last 12 months and thoroughly deserved the gold medal. Shane Thompson turned in an ultra consistent performance to take gold in Recurve Freestyle Limited while Jodi Buckingham also took gold in Bowhunter Limited. Christopher Patrick turned in a very solid performance to take the Cub Compound C grade gold shooting very well in the final two rounds. Amy Stubbs finished with the silver in Junior Compound B grade while Sammy Patrick also took silver in Cub Recurve D grade. Jackelyn Patrick rounded out the medals with a bronze in Cub Compound D grade.
The Australian 3D Championship event was also contested over four rounds with Namoi Valley Archers securing 8 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals to underline the overall strength of the local club. Karen Hudson had to fight all the way to secure her second gold medal taking the Compound C grade gold by just four points after a blistering last round. Peter Stubbs was the toast of the recurve group after a superb performance across the four rounds secured him the B grade title with a score which would have won A grade. Michael Patrick also showed his liking for the 3D targets securing the gold in Recurve C grade while Darrell Hudson finished with the silver in Recurve A grade. Ben Ireland shot superbly to finish with the silver in the ultra competitive Freestyle Unlimited division finishing just 4 points from top spot. Ken Thompson has his colours lowered at the 2008 Nationals for the first time taking the silver after a top class contest with Reade Moffatt. The pair were locked together after 3 rounds but Moffatt did just enough over the final round to secure a very close win. Wade Hudson showed he equally at home in the 3D event scoring his second silver medal with another brilliant performance edging out Ed Hayes over the final stages in another enthralling contest with Cassie Ireland grabbing bronze in the Womens Freestyle Unlimited contest. Matthew Wittman and Shane Thompson continued their golden run at the Nationals winning their respective divisions in fine style. Amy Stubbs turned in a sensational performance to take the Compound B grade gold medal shooting brilliantly over the four rounds. Christopher Patrick added a second gold with a good performance in Compound C grade while Jackelyn Patrick scored a hard earned gold medal in Cub Compound D grade. Sammy Patrick finished with her second silver medal of the championships in Cub Recurve D grade after a typically determined performance.