The SEAL (South East University Archery League) tournament kicked off on Saturday 26 November, and the first leg delivered an exciting showdown between the archers from Brunel University, Imperial College, Portsmouth University, and Queen Mary University.
The team overall was dominated by Imperial College with a score of 2123, topping last year's performance. They were followed by Portsmouth with 1930 and Queen Mary with 1772. Brunel came last with 1729.
It is worth mentioning that the Brunel senior team had to be built from scratch as most of last year's seniors have graduated. The other universities had experienced senior archers from past SEAL tournaments. Queen Mary had Stephen Inge and Rushan Vellani, Portsmouth had Matthew Hill, and Imperial had Daniel Boulby and Russell Foo Chuan Wen.
Nonetheless, in the individual tournament the archers from Brunel had a better performance. Cole Parker dominated the Men's Novice Barebow with an overall score of 413, beating second placed Juan Eslava (277) and third placed Khaleel Channa (224) - both from Queen Mary - with more than 130 points of advantage.
Brunel's Shuhao Yang came third in the Men's Novice Recurve with a score of 455. First and second place went to Imperial's Henry Zheng (496) and Portsmouth's Sam Humphries (495), respectively. The three archers equaled however in number of hits and golds, with 60 hits and 6 golds each. In the same category, Brunel archers Mike Boone and Waqas Iqbal came 6th with 403 and 8th with 306, respectively.
It was a tournament overrun by men but the only Brunel competing woman archer shone on Saturday taking first place. Aimée White won the Senior Barebow with 434. Her sole opponent, Elizabeth Barnes from Portsmouth University, came second with 423.
In the Men Senior Recurve, although Brunel archers didn't perform at their best, Jonas Skačkauskas came fifth with 520 and Joe Howard came 9th with 354. First place went to Matthew Hill (Portsmouth) with 572 out of 600.
The chair of Brunel Archery, Fraser James MacDonald, came second in the Men Senior Barebow competition with 421. It was a close miss as he was beaten by only one point by Matt Champion (Portsmouth). As with the Men Novice Recurve, both archers had scored 60 out 60 hits and 6 golds in their name. Rushan Vellani (Queen Mary) came third with 300.
"I'd like to say well done to the committee for organizing and running the competition so smoothly. I'm also deeply proud of how brilliantly our novice team performed, and although the senior score wasn't the best we've done, I'm confident that with focused training and the right attitude, we can climb our way up the rankings", said Fraser.
The second match will be held on Saturday 10 December in Sussex University. Brunel will be lining up against Sussex University, Kent University, and Queen Mary.