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Bowls - 20. February 2012.

Van Eldik claims top honour

Raymond Terrace young gun Natasha Van Eldik has been crowned Australian Female Bowler of the Year following a stellar 12 months on the greens.


The 2010 Commonwealth Games representative was up against close friend and Australian vice-captain Karen Murphy for the prestigious honour, with Van Eldik narrowly triumphing on the night.


Having won a national title and multiple state crowns last year, as well as the full set of medals at the Asia Pacific Games, 21-year-old Van Eldik was one of the inform players on both the national and international circuit.


On the national front, a gold medal alongside Australian representative team mates Julie Keegan and Beth Quinlan for NSW at the Australian Sides Championships was followed up with a highlight for Van Eldik in 2011; clinching the National Champion of Champions gold medal in the women's pairs alongside fellow Raymond Terrace bowler Kelly Richards.


The dynamic duo also played together in four state title wins in 2011; pairs, fours, champion of champion pairs and the mixed club challenge.


Performances for the green and gold contingent included dominant displays at the Trans Tasman series in New Zealand, the Australia v South Africa test series in Moonta and most recently the Asia Pacific Championships in Adelaide. The Asia Pacifics saw her cap off a terrific year where she assisted Australia secure both the overall women’s and overall country gold by claiming silver in the women's fours and bronze in the women's pairs.


Van Eldik will be looking to continue her rich vein of form by adding an Australian Open title to her impressive resume this week, having qualified in the singles and triples disciplines.
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