Gold and silver for Osoyoos archers at national championships

Miranda Sparkes and Brock Paton

Two Osoyoos-area archers are setting their sights on the world after capturing medals at the Canadian championships last weekend.

Miranda Sparkes took gold and mentor Brock Paton silver in their respective longbow categories at the Outdoor 3D championships held in Windsor, Ont., August 1-2.

Both plan to be part of the Canadian team that attends the World 3D Archery Championship, to be held in Robion, France, in September 2017.

“It’ll be announced around Labour Day weekend,” said Miranda, explaining Quebec still needs to hold its provincial championship and that could affect team selection.

“We’ll know then who will make the team.”

3D archery is a subset of field archery focusing on shooting at life-like three-dimensional animal-shaped targets placed in dynamic settings and at varying distances.

Outdoor 3D events often feature a course staged in the woods or fields where each target varies from other target station setups in the course.  It is common to see unmarked distances in 3D archery, as the goal is to mimic a bow hunting experience for competition.

Over three sessions at the Windsor course, Miranda scored 453 points to easily finish ahead of Ontario’s Vanessa Gagnon, who scored 394.

 

Brock, meanwhile, scored 560 points over the three sessions to take silver. He says a lapse in judgement probably cost him the gold.

“I took my foot off the gas,” he said. “I was ahead of everybody in my group by 50 or 60 points. What I didn’t know there was another guy shooting with the distinctive and bare bow category.”

That “guy” was Alberta’s Monty Vander Westhuizen, who posted 612 over three sessions.

Archers score points by hitting the center of the scoring rings on the target. Typically, those rings are located off-center, over the target’s heart and vital areas.

Brock runs the Osoyoos Traditional Archery School. Miranda met Brock last summer when he came into the Destination Osoyoos office to talk about the upcoming BC indoor championships to be held in Oliver.

Brock invited Miranda to come out to the Osoyoos range just west of the community on Hwy. 3, an invitation Miranda decided to accept.

Since then she has won numerous local and provincial championships.

Their choice of equipment is unique among North American archers. The longbow is popular in Europe but is a forgotten cousin in North America where most archers compete with compound bows.

“What makes it hard, especially with shooting wooden arrows, is the fact that each of your arrows are different,” said Miranda. “It takes much more practice time to figure out how your arrows will fly.”

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