ARCHER Stuart Houghton took out the Armidale Senior Sportsperson of the Year Award at the 2AD FM 100.3 Sports Council Awards at the City Bowling Club.
Special Guest on the night was Rio Pentathlete gold medalist Chloe Eposito, who gave the packed house some great insight into herself and her journey to the top of her chosen sport, although it was Houghton and junior Sportsperson of the Year mountain bike champion Katherine Hosking that struck gold on the night.
While there was a pentathlete champion, Nathan Smith, in the list of finalists, it was Houghton that beat a top field to the podium.
The archer beat athletes such as Australian shooter Joy Harrison and Australian U23 mountain bike champion Holly Harris.
There was also masters champions Colin MacIver (cycling), Cindy Slade (hockey) and Keith Ellis (hockey), as well as well as Australian Horse Ball representative Tim Up, but it was Houghton’s World Indoor Championship among a host of other top results that swayed the judges.
After taking five wickets for Armidale to grab a War Veterans Cup grand fibnal berth on Sunday, Todd Francis got the nod for Local Senior Sports Star, while goal kicking machine Dave Richards won the Regional Award after kicking five goals in the Nomads fifth straight TAFL grand final victory this year.
Hosking also beat a top field, that included her sister Isabella to the Junior Sportsperson of the Year after she took out both the Subaru National Series races, Olympic Format and Criterium, as well as the U17 National Championships among others in a huge year for the future star.
The council decided to give all five nominees an award in the Contribution to Sport category, including last years senior winner Jay Stone for athletics, as two Walcha winners, Roos and Rams servant Bernard Lynch and all rounder Anne Martin.
Michael and Helen Denis got the nod for service to cricket, and netball’s Rochelle Joyce had her efforts recognised as well.
The New England Mountain Bike Club took out the year after claiming a national title, while the Armidale U15 girls hockey side took out Junior Team of the year after taking an undefeated state title.
*Full list of nominees and winners on page 25.