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Imogen at the JNOC

This weekend saw our very own Imogen Newby participate in the Junior National Outdoor Championships 2015 held at Lilleshall National Sports Centre near Newport in Shropshire. The rounds here are as follows

Metric V – 144 arrows, 3 dozen over 30m, 20m on 122cm face with 6 arrows per end to be shot in 4 minutes, 15m and 10m 80cm face shot 3 arrows over 2 minutes. Scoring 1-10 points.

Bristol V – 144 arrows, 6 dozen at 30 yards, 4 dozen at 20 yards, then 2 dozen at 10 yards all on a 122cm face. Scoring 1,3,5,7 and 9.

The weekend was already going to be a huge event for Imogen as this is to be her last attempt to win the National titles for Metric V and Bristol V before she moves up to the U14’s next year….or is it?

I was later advised that as Imogen will be still 11 yrs old on 1st January 2016, she may still be eligible to compete for the U12’s even though her birthday is just 6 days before the event is held. This however, still needs to be 100% confirmed. She will definitely have to complete in the U14’s for the Bristol IV next year.

Friday we travelled up to Lilleshall after a brief visit to see Leon Stephens of Sudbury Physio and Sudbury Archery Club to review a pseudo winging scapula. We arrived to be greeted by a friendly face, Lauren Turner’s Dad, Nigel, of Wye Archery Club and discussions were had over the two girls and their progress over the sesason.

Patiently waiting for the Target List to be brought out than a mad dash for the shooting line so tents could be popped up ready for the following day. Tent up, a little shopping then off to the hotel for a high protein, high carb dinner and an early night.

Saturday was the Metric V. The mist over Lilleshall was not a welcome sight as the night before had rained heavily. The wind was ever present and due to reach a max of 16 mph around 2pm, Imogen was prepared for war!

This year’s objective was to win! Imogen wanted that gold medal. Tough competition was to had as Caitlin Aiken of Buchan Archery Club, who was 2nd last year, was the only name we recognised that we knew would prove difficult to beat. The weather was dry, warm and windy, not great, but Imogen had no choice so knuckled down to hitting the gold spot. First 3 dozen were a little shaky as Imogen settled into the round dropping 4 7’s and 8’s, hitting 54, 53, 52, but recovered to 55, 54, 54 finishing on 322. This was going to set the end result as a new contender showed herself to the other Juniors. Charlotte Hempstall of Bowmen of Pendle and Samlesbury proved to be a formidable opponent and the 1st distance was very close. Caitlin was 14 points up on Imogen and Charlotte close behind.

Imogen had a quick visit from Lloyd Brown the Olympic Coach while the bosses were being moved discussing her progress and how she was shooting…eyes were on Imogen here clearly. A happy Lloyd moved on to the see other athletes and the 20m began.

Imogen knows she’s got to nail this and nail it she did! Setting up a National Record Claim for this distance beating Caitlin by 1 point! 22 X + 10’s (10 X’s)! What a show! With my heart pounding and the wind blowing a hoolie, we moved to 15 meters.

Leaving the last distance at an impressive 667, moving onto the smaller face could change the fortunes for the 3 archers. They were all banging that gold ring, with arrows scraping and fletching’s flying! Imogen finished on 335 so 1002 in total so far, but 6 8’s could prove to be a thorn in her side then on that last shot she hit a 7! Time for breathing exercises and a stern talk from her coach Tony Ferguson! However, the distance finished as 52, 54, 58, 59, 58, 54…if could do that I’d be delighted but not Imogen!

10m and we can all go home! Imogen finished the round with 349/360 giving her 1351 equalling the National Record held by her friend Louisa Piper of Woking Archery Club. Caitlin shot an impressive 1377, so just 26 points in it and Imogen claimed her 1st Nation Junior Silver Medal.

(Imogen Newby, Caitlin Aiken and Charlotte Hempstall)

Delighted and tired, Imogen was to collect her medal the following day due to so many bouncers and the dreaded equipment failures!

Sunday was forecast thunder and lightning! Great! Just what we needed! The wind was to drop to a around 13 mph, but what can you do?

So the Bristol V. This has going to be a nail bitter if the previous days scoring was anything to go by. The 3 girls battled the sun, wind, rain, thunder, lightning and anything else nature could throw at the athletes over the next 144 arrows. Imogen completed 30 yards with an impressive 620/648 and was only 12 points behind Caitlin we think with Charlotte just 8 points behind Imogen at this point.

The awards were called out during lunch after 30 yards was complete for the previous day. Imogen received her silver medal and while waiting for the other presentations, Imogen was called out as part of the SCAS Team, who won the Regional Team section. This was a massive surprise as Imogen had no idea!

(In order Lauren Bann, Imogen Newby, Louisa Piper and Natasha)

England also won the Country Trophy over Scotland in 2nd and Wales into 3rd.

Now Imogen decided to get “really” serious….20 yards…nail it or bust! 426/432….BOOM! Imogen only dropped 3 7’s in the 20 yards section. I ran to check the scores on the live board and Caitlyn is 14 points ahead of Imogen so now there’s virtually no way to claw this back after dropping 2 more points.

Imogen finished on a perfect 216/216 as did Caitlin and Charlotte. Imogen shot a superb 1262 out of 1296, winning the individual silver medal.

During the closing ceremony the heavens opened and after receiving her medal we dashed off to the scoring hut to make her National Record Claim for the U12 Ladies 20m 122cm from the previous day. While there, we missed the call for the County Team results and so dashed off home to get a head start! Imogen’s score was a gold medal winning score as the Essex and Suffolk Team won the Counties and the SCAS team also won the regionals.

All in all, a great weekend for Imogen. Well done! You put up a good fight kid!