In her final article for Redbrick, sport online editor Nancy Frostick reflects on a year of sporting retirements and looks forward to the next generation of Redbrick writersWritten by Nancy Frostick on 19th June 2017
UB Archery Bring Home Three Golds at BUCS Nationals
Another exceptional weekend for UB Archery, as they competed in the BUCS National Indoor Finals in Bristol
The University of Birmingham Archery Club have had a very successful few weeks to finish off the indoor season; a win at BUTC marked Birmingham’s first national archery title in 29 years, this was followed by winning the BUTTS league and Indoor Championships for the second year in a row. But all the hard work and dedication put in by the archers over the past year was tested on one day, 18th March, as the team headed to Bristol to compete in BUCS National Finals.
Archers that attended BUCS finals would have qualified in Sheffield at the beginning of February at the BUCS northern qualifiers, which determined the top 74 archers in the recurve division, 26 in barebow, and 16 in compound. All experienced archers from Birmingham qualified and most were in a good position to make the cut for the head to heads at the finals, which took the top 32 recurve, 16 barebow and 8 compound in each gents and ladies categories.
In the ranking round, which was a World Archery 18m Round (WA18), 60 arrows on 40cm 3-sports, one arrow shot in each face, from a distance of 18 metres, Ashe Morgan and Francis Berti came out on top of the pack with 582 and 578. Not far behind, still making the cut for head to heads was Chris Avins in 7th place with 556. In 38th place, unfortunately not making the cut, but still shooting very well for his first year as an experienced archer was Jamal Rahman on 514.
The ladies recurve team also showed a strong side, with Rebekah Tipping seeding 4th with 555, Catherine Jackson 6th on 540, and Caitlin McCarthy in 12th with 527. Elisa Gradwohl and Tupa Guerra shot 512 and 451, the former placing 20th to make the cut for the head to heads.
In alternate bowstyles Sam Rees shot 556, just 4 points short of making the cut for the top 8. There were only 19 points between 1st and 16th place in gents compound, it is always a very competitive division. Lady barebow Amelia Elgey and India Wilson both shot very strong ranking rounds of 440 and 408 to seed 4th and 9th, this competition being the first time they have shot this round since becoming barebow archers in September.
Once the ranking round was finished, the team scores could be calculated. Both the ladies and gents teams took gold! The ladies team of Rebekah Tipping, Catherine Jackson and Caitlin McCarthy finished with a score of 1622 to beat 2nd place Edinburgh (1603) and 3rd place Warwick (1539). The gents team of Ashe Morgan, Francis Berti and Chris Avins shot 1716 to beat 2nd place Warwick (1677) and 3rd place Edinburgh (1641). Due to the recent change in format for BUCS finals, both these Birmingham scores are now records, still to be verified by BUCS.
Once the archers knew they had already secured gold medals, they went into the head to heads with the ambition of winning more. The head to heads work in a set system; each archer shoots 3 arrows, the highest scoring archer wins 2 points, a draw gets 1 point and a loss gets 0 points. The first archer to 6 points wins the match.
Chris Avins won his first match 6 set points to 0, but unfortunately lost out to Vlado Hurban from Edinburgh in the second, winning 4 set points in the process. Top seed Ashe Morgan fought a strong few matches, winning the first two 6:0, and the third 6:4, until coming up against long-term nemesis Tom Hall in the semi-finals, where he was knocked into the bronze medal match. In true Ashe fashion, he came out fighting and won the match 7:1 to take the bronze medal. Francis had an incredible run in the head to heads, winning his first 3 matches 6:0, his semi-final 6:2, and finally taking the gold medal with a win 7:3 in the final. This was Francis’s first individual BUCS medal, and well deserved after finishing 4th at BUCS indoors last year.
Francis had this to say, “So happy that all our hard work paid off! Couldn't be prouder to be on the winning gents’ team, and of the ladies who took first place too! And to have brought home the gold individual medal is fantastic!”
In the ladies category, Catherine Jackson had a tough first match against a high scoring competitor from Loughborough, just losing her match 6:4. Meanwhile, Elisa Gradwohl was up against Emma Davis from Warwick, the winner of this match going on to face Rebekah Tipping, who won her first match 7:1. Elisa too lost her match 6:4. Caitlin McCarthy won her first match 6:0, but lost out in the second round to 5th seed Sara Rubio from Southampton. Rebekah won her second match 6:0, then went on to face Sara Rubio too, winning that match 6:4. In the semi-finals she came up against first seed, and BUCS indoors reigning champion, Jaspreet Sagoo who won 7:1 to push Rebekah into the bronze medal match where she met Lydia Sinnet-Smith from Nottingham. Multiple draws made this match a long affair, but Rebekah missed out on a bronze medal, losing 4 points to 6.
In the barebow ladies category, India Wilson fought hard but lost her first match 6:4. Amelia Elgey won her first match 6:2, but came up against 5th seed and lost out on a place in the semi-finals 2 points to 6.
After an incredible run over the past three weeks, picking up four trophies and three national titles, the Birmingham archers now move outside to train for BUTTS and BUCS outdoor champs, which take place in May and June, respectively.
Check out the full results here.
Article by UB Archery