Archery: BUCS Indoor Championships
Here is Emma Davis' (Archerys outgoing president) account of the day...
Of the 13 in attendance we had 9 people shoot high enough scores in the morning to make the cut for the head to heads in the afternoon, with 8 out of 9 ranking in the top 16 and 5 in the top 8 in their categories. (For example, in the recurve categories the field was limited to 74 competitors on the day, which was then cut to 32 for the head to heads).
We saw a really strong performance from both the ladies and gents recurve teams. A team of Tom Hall, Sherman Ip and James Jeffs moved up into 2nd to take the silver (improving on their 3rd ranked place in qualifying). The ladies team, comprising of myself, Hannah Burnage and Carys Evans, followed this up with a solid bronze - representing an impressive jump from being ranked only 9th in qualifying.
Our compound team of Chris Woodgate and James Edmondson maintained their comfortable second place from the qualifiers to also take team silver, losing out to a team from Edinburgh comprising of two archers just returned from the Indoor European Championships - one with an individual silver.
In the afternoon our 9 archers began their bid for medals, in the first ever BUCS Indoor head to heads (the format has changed this year to better reflect national and international competitions). Going through the rounds, we got 8 out of 9 athletes through to the top 16, 5 through to the top 8, and three into medal matches. In the process we had some unfortunate cases of friendly fire, with Tom Hall and Chris Woodgate knocking out James Jeffs and James Edmondson in the gents recurve and compound categories respectively, but a lot of strong shooting from all.
Aside: In recurve categories matches take a set-point format, with two competing archers shooting three arrows each at a time, scoring them, then taking 2, 1, or 0 set points for a win, draw, or loss. The match is awarded on best of five sets, so first to 6 points. If the match ends on 5 all then each archer shoots one arrow and the closest to the middle takes the win.
In the recurve gents semi-finals Tom Hall defeated fellow GB athlete and World Uni Games team mate Ashe Morgan in straight sets with a perfect 9 out of 9 tens. Meanwhile Sherman Ip, who had previously broken seed against another World Uni Champs athlete, Jack Masefield, in the quarter-finals, took on second seed Francis Berti. It was a close fought match of fine margins, but Francis won 6-2 to join Tom in the gold medal match and Sherman went on to face Ashe for bronze. Tom and Sherman battled hard in their medal matches, with both shooting perfect 30s to prolong the fight after conceding points early on, but ended up taking silver and 4th place respectively.
Aside: In compound categories matches are taken on cumulative score across 15 arrows, shot three at a time, with a maximum score of 150.
Across the hall, in the gents compound, Chris Woodgate was dominating the rest of the field. He won every one of his matches all the way through to the final with match scores that were consistently above any score shot by any other gents compound the entire day. He shot a solid 145, 145, 144 in his three matches, taking the gold medal. The next best score shot was 143 by Coventry's Thomas Taylor, whom Chris dispatched in the semi-finals. Chris has really demonstrated significant improvement on an already high standard across the last few months, dominating both league and BUCS competitions; his match scores from this weekend would have been competitive to make to top 16 at the European Championships last weekend.
All in all it was a really successful day, with a number of strong performances, personal bests, and a real demonstration of how our team has grown and improved. The standard across the entirety of student archery has taken a massive jump this year and our team has had to work hard to keep pace, particularly with a couple of major losses to both our ladies and gents teams from the last academic year. In total we're bringing home 46 BUCS points, a one point improvement on last year's 45 despite the hike in standards. The Warwick Performance program has definitely played a large role in our achievements this season, along with the continued support and dedication of our two wonderful coaches - Wendy and Nick.
I'd also like to use this opportunity to mention the amazing job our publicity team has been doing recently, from a very professional live video stream of the Warwick-hosted league championships last weekend (which got 3.3K views), to the smooth and well-run use of our twitter to broadcast live updates and high quality photos throughout the day yesterday, to blog posts about our recent community work. The three new exec members responsible for all this are also currently writing an article for World Archery about how they did the live stream - so the profile of Warwick Archery has never been so high!
We're now looking forwards to the outdoor season next term, with BUCS Outdoors in early June. We'll be aiming to qualify a large team of both experienced and novice archers for this and I'm really excited to see what we can do!