(shown in photo above from left to right: Avril Hatherell, Bryanne Lameg, Kadin Giebelhaus, Austin Taylor, Cleo Wermann – Thorn and Duncan Crawford)
The Canada Winter Games archery event was hosted in Red Deer, Alberta from February 23 to March 3, 2019. Team Manitoba was proud to send talented team made up of primary athletes, Austin Taylor, Bryanne Lameg, Cleo Wermann – Thorn, and Kadin Giebelhaus. Leading the team was our head coach Duncan Crawford of Summerside, PEI and Coach/Manager Avril Hatherell. In lead up to the games, our team, including alternate athletes Brady Klassen, Janna Hawash, Nattasha Shpak, and Roman Boyechko trained extremely hard to ensure success.
On the recurve side, following four days of qualifying and elimination matches, both had experienced challenges and set new highs that will drive them forward.
Giebelhaus shot a personal best score on day two of qualifying, which lent to his qualifying in 4th place in a deep pool of experienced male shooters. Following a quarterfinal match play elimination and a final ranking of 6th overall.
Wermann-Thorn started her week with some challenges during qualification which ranked her 7th heading to eliminations. She took the opportunity in the preliminary elimination round to top the shooter from Yukon before matching up against the top seed from Quebec in the quarterfinal. Though there was significant disparity in the level of experience between the opponents, Wermann-Thorn managed to tie the match at two set points before ultimately falling to the eventual gold medalist. Wermann-Thorn said she felt good about turning her performance around in the second part of the event.
The highlight of the week was the recurve mixed team event shot on the final day of competition. The 6th ranked Team Manitoba faced off against a 3rd ranked Team Saskatchewan, boasting the top male recurve shooter. Team Manitoba held them to a tie going into a one arrow shoot-off to determine which team would advance to the semi-finals. After shooting near perfect, Team Manitoba was defeated by a skilled Saskatchewan duo.
Team Manager and Manitoba Recurve Coach, Avril Hatherell was very pleased with the performance. Hatherell a former two-time Canada Games athlete shared how being a part of the games as a coach felt this time around.
On the compound side of the field, Austin Taylor and Bryanne Lameg came up big, winning a silver medal in the mixed team event and Taylor taking home a gold in the Compound Male Category. Following qualification, Lameg and Taylor ranked 2nd and 1st respectively in the individual categories and 2nd in the mixed team event ranking.
Individual elimination rounds saw Lameg up against Yukon archer Sofija Jewell, Lameg took the match 146 – 142. In the semi finals, Lameg went up against PEI archer Kristen Arsenault, following a tight match, Lameg fell with a score of 140 – 143, leading her to a Bronze medal match against Ontario archer Abby Bunn. The bronze match was filled excitement as both archers took turns leading in score. Despite a strong effort, Lameg fell to Bunn placing 4th overall in the event.
First seed Taylor shoot his quarter final elimination match against New Brunswick archer John Dow, beating him handily with a score of 147 – 138. In the semi-finals, Taylor faced off against the 5th seed archer from Saskatchewan, Jacob Bourassa. Bourassa, who had been shooting very well put up a strong score, but was unable to topple Taylor with a score of 144 – 148. The gold medal final saw Taylor face off against a very hot B.C. archer in Spencer Gamache. Gamache, the 6th seed had upset several high ranked opponents before meeting Taylor. After an exiting tilt, Taylor secured the win and a gold medal for Team Manitoba with a score of 148 – 141.
The mixed team event saw the Lameg & Taylor matched up against the 6th ranked B.C. Team in the quarterfinals. Manitoba shot well, defeating B.C. with a score of 155 – 141. Rolling into the semi-finals, Team Manitoba met a very hot Team Yukon, who had upset Alberta with a score of 154 – 149 in the quarters. Despite the red hot opponent, Manitoba kept their focus and defeated Yukon 155 – 147, taking them to the gold medal final. In the final, Manitoba and Quebec, ranked 2nd and 1st respectively, went arrow for arrow, keeping the match very tight. After 4 ends of regulation shooting, the teams were tied and a shoot off was required. After Quebec shot a 10 – 9, Manitoba followed up with a 10 – 9, losing the 9 by fractions of an inch after a measurement, to take a silver medal home for Team Manitoba.
Following the strong, multi medal performance by Team Manitoba Archery, Austin Taylor was named the Flag Bearer for the province at the closing ceremonies. A great honor and much appreciated recognition for our small, but growing sport.
The ABAM would like to thank the entire team, including volunteers who assisted with camps in Manitoba, the parents for their ongoing support, the primary and alternate athletes, as well as Coach Duncan Crawford and Manager Avril Hatherell for their hard work and dedication in lead up to and at the Canada Games. We were not only pleased to see our athlete train and preform with excellence, but they also demonstrated good sportsmanship and team play during the highs and lows of the event.
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