Posted on Feb. 21 2017 by Patricia Gibson, Communications DirectorMembers of the Marion High School JROTC Rifle Marksmanship Team squared off against the best shooters from across the nation during the Army JROTC Air Rifle National Championship — the first time the Giants have earned the privilege to compete at this level.
The five-member team faced 52 other teams comprising 275 cadet marksmen during the championship, which ran Feb. 16 through 18.
“Our team has been shooting really well this year,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the Rifle Team coach. “It was an honor and quite an accomplishment for us to advance to the National Championship. Even though we are the Indiana JROTC State Champions, we have never shot at this level against such top competitors.”
The Marion team comprised cadets Kayleigh Smith, a senior, Taylor Sorah and Rhianna Gary, juniors, Hailey Teeguarden, a sophomore, and Levi Hofmann, a freshman.
“It was intense to say the least,” said Sorah, the Giants’ team captain. “There were a lot of really good shooters here.”
The National Championship was conducted at three regional locations over the past two weeks: Camp Perry, Ohio; Anniston, Ala.; and Las Vegas.
The Giants finished in 11th among the 20 teams at Camp Perry, and 42nd from among the 53 Army teams in the National Championship. Gary and Teeguarden finished as the 24th-place and 27th-place shooters, respectively, at Camp Perry. Both of them set personal high-score records during the championship.
“I was very proud of my shooting,” Gary said. “It felt amazing to know that I have the capability of shooting that well all along. I just needed to change my mindset to shoot better, and I did.”
The Giants have four more high-level rifle matches left this season.