Junior National Open Championships (Part I)

Junior National Open Championships 2013
Junior National Open Championships 2013

This weekend saw AoR’s juniors spread around the world.  Some would be shooting at home, Lauren and Katie would be heading off to the home of UK Archery (Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Newport, Shropshire) and Bradley on a long haul flight to Seoul, Korea (I wonder if he ever took off that brand new Archery GB shirt?).

I don’t have much news with regards to Bradley, other than he arrived safely and I’ve not received any reports of problems such as lost cases this time, but I understand that he shot a new personal best during the qualifiers with a 334 after 3 dozen arrows and which gained him third place in the qualifiers – job done methinks.  Hopefully I’ll learn more over the coming days and I’ll blog whatever news comes my way.  In the meantime, good luck Bradley and whole Archery GB team shooting in Seoul.

Back in the UK and the weekend would be split for Lauren and Katie.  Owing to the pressures of A-Levels, Lauren decided months ago to only enter for the Bristol II on Sunday, leaving Saturday to practice at home and time to finish any coursework or other study and thereby leave Sunday free to get on with the tournament.  Saturday was therefore spent with Geoff honing a few last minute technique improvements and gaining some useful advice about putting a towel over her bow handle between ends to keep it cool.

Meanwhile, Katie had headed up to Lilleshall on the Friday for some useful practice and to check out the venue.  Katie’s attention would turn to shooting a World Record Status Metric II on the Saturday, with both Lauren and Katie shooting a Bristol II on the Sunday – and another head to head for the girls.

Despite the blistering heat on Saturday (which saw buckets of water begin places along the equipment line), Katie shot a great round to break through the 1,000 points with a fine 1,015 and 12th place out of 16 archers.  This was made up by a 230 at 60m, 248 at 50m, 268 at 40m and a 269 at 50m.  During the shoot Katie had some finger issues with her draw hand that resulted in some blistering and cuts.  Following the application of a plaster to her finger she carried on shooting but towards the end of the shoot she pulled a highly unusual missed arrow.  Shot on top of the button?  Bad release? Some other reason?  She was not sure, nocked another arrow and pulled another miss.  Deep breath, checked the bow and arrow and nocked another arrow.  A third miss – Something unheard of for young Katie at the comfortable distances.  Well, the clue was mentioned earlier.  In the heat, the plaster had come loose and on the third missed arrow she noticed that the plaster was fouling the string and probably upsetting the flight of the arrow.

Now a lot of archers would have thrown a tantrum, or worse.  However, if true AoR style she dug deep and responded with a fabulous X, 10, 9 and was right back in the saddle.  The loss of a potential 27-30 points hurt Katie badly and spoilt an otherwise great day.  However, these things happen and you can only learn from them.  Tomorrow, would be another day.

Daniel Nixon (Targetcraft) often shoots with Lauren and Katie at GNAS and other tournaments around the county and he was also shooting both the Saturday and Sunday.  Tackling his new distance this year, he posted a brilliant 1,050 to secure a well-earned 15th place on the day

Click here for Sundays report.

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