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Archers hit their targets at nationals

Alyssa Mowbray in action. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

ARCHERY

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

Two young archers had their dedication rewarded at the Archery New Zealand Indoor Nationals in Auckland last weekend.

Solway College’s Eilish Skeet, and Masterton Intermediate School’s Alyssa Mowbray, won the handicap-points divisions in the recurve bow and compound bow postal league events respectively.

For Mowbray, it started with the ‘Vegas’ indoor shoot in Gisborne at the beginning of May, then it was straight into a weekly indoor postal league that concluded at the indoor nationals.

The league had prizes for the top 10 highest scores and a handicap-points prize in each division.

Points were awarded depending on how each archer’s weekly score compared with their running average.

Mowbray’s hard work on improving her technique had her scores advance almost every week, which resulted in her winning six of the weekly results, enough to finish three points ahead of her closest rival in the compound division.

She also won the compound girls’ cub division at the indoor nationals.

Skeet did not compete in Gisborne, but spent the winter months competing in the recurve division of the league while working with her coach.

She was rewarded with five wins in the division, finishing one point ahead of the runner-up at the end of the 15 weeks.

At the indoor nationals prize giving both archers received a gift voucher from Attitude Archery, the sponsor of the postal event.

Skeet said it was exciting to have her achievement recognised at a national event.

“I knew I was either going to get first or second because of the points difference and they announced it at the end as part of all the other results.

“I was really happy.”

Skeet has been only been shooting competitively since the start of last year, but her experience with bows and arrows runs much deeper than that.

Her father had always had an interest in it, and her brothers were often out hunting, so it was always likely she would be reasonably good at it.

It started with shooting at targets on the family farm near Eketahuna, and now she has her own practice shooting range at the college.

Archers compete against people of all genders and ages throughout the season, and the handicap-points system is used to level the playing field.

Both Mowbray and Skeet now have their sights set on 2019 with the Outdoor Nationals, the World IFAA Indoor Championships and Junior Trans-Tasman on the horizon.

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