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Johnson Jrotc air rifle team striving to be national champs

The “Lady Bird” Johnson High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Air Rifle Teams traveled two roads to qualify for the 2013 Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Junior Three-Position Air Rifle National Championships to be held July 11-14 in Anniston, Alabama.

The first road took the team to El Paso, Texas to compete in the Texas State 3-P Air Rifle Junior Olympic Sectional Championships and later in the same week to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the CMP Western Region Championships. The state championship qualifying matches held in most states, as well as the CMP regional championships, and other qualifying competitions involved all junior air rifle marksmen in such programs as 4-H Clubs, the American Legion, the Boys Scouts of America, the Jaycees, US Shooting clubs, local marksmanship clubs, and of course Army, Marine, Navy, and Air Force JROTC commands.

The CMP Junior Three-Position Air Rifle National Championships competition will be held in conjunction with the National 3-Position Junior Olympics and National Rifle Association Junior Air Gun Championships.
Within a one week timeframe, the Johnson JROTC Air Rifle Teams took their skill and talent on the road and air to compete in two back-to-back shoulder-to-shoulder competitions in El Paso, Texas followed by a regional championship in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both competitions were important qualifying competitions for the 2013 CMP Junior Three-Position Air Rifle National Championships.

On April 6, the Johnson Precision and Sporter Air Rifle Teams competed in the 2013 6th Annual Paso del Norte Air Rifle Championships and the Texas State 3-P Air Rifle Junior Olympic Sectional Championships at Socorro High School in El Paso, Texas. The Precision Team won the competition with a team score of 2275 out of a possible 2400 points while the Sporter Team placed 6th place with a team score of 1824 out of a possible 2400 points. Duncan Pawloski led the Johnson Precision Team with a score of 584 out of a possible 600 points, earning him a second place silver individual marksmanship award—only one point shy of the individual winner. Daniel Young led the Sporter Team with a 506 out of a possible 600 points, earning him a third place bronze individual marksmanship award in the “new shooters” category.

The Texas State 3-P Air Rifle Junior Olympic Sectional Championships held in El Paso was the last sectional qualifier competition in the State of Texas for the National Air Rifle Junior Olympics. In this competition, the Johnson Precision Team earned a 2nd place finish in the State while the Sporter Team earned a 9th place finish. By mid-May, all state Junior Olympic qualifiers will be complete and Johnson will know their overall national rankings.

The Precision Team members with their overall individual placement and scores include Duncan Pawloski, Team Captain (#2/584); Max Pawloski (#7/568); Nathan Reyes (#9/564); and William Coulter-Porth (#13/559). The Sporter Team members with their overall individual placement and scores include Daniel Young, (#7/506); Richard Torres (#13/490); Chris Walton (#24/448); and Vanessa Cates (#35/380)

After traveling more than 1,100 miles in a car four days earlier, on April 11 at 6:00 a.m., the Precision Air Rifle Team took to the air to compete in the 2013 Junior Air Rifle Western Regional Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, resulting in a 6th place finish. The Team qualified for the CMP Regional Championships based on scores fired in the First Annual CMP Junior Air Rifle Postal in January. The Johnson team qualified with a team score of 1,142 out of a possible 1,200 points—only ten points behind the top air rifle team in the nation.

In the two day record fire shoulder-to-shoulder competition, the Precision Team placed 6th with a team score of 4550 out of a possible 4800 points. Duncan Pawloski led the Johnson Precision Team and all other Western Region competition shooters with a score of 1170 out of a possible 1200 points. Duncan went into the Top “8” Individual Finals with a five (5) points advantage over the second place junior marksman who represented an Alaskan 4H Club.

In the end, Duncan won the First Place Individual Gold Marksmanship Award by 5.6 points with an aggregate score of 1269.9 out of a possible 1309 points. Additionally, Duncan fired his first perfect 200 score with 20 “center shots” or bull’s-eyes and he did this in the Prone position—only one other marksman out of the 313 best of the best junior marksmen who competed shot a perfect score—not an easy accomplishment! Between the three regional championships, overall nationally, Duncan finished in 3rd place out of 313 marksmen.

Duncan also earned the prestigious Junior Distinguished Air Rifle Badge which he was awarded at Saturday evenings’ Banquet and Awards ceremony. The prestigious Distinguished Badge program began in 1884 when the U. S. Army first awarded the Distinguished Marksman Badge. In 1963, the program was expanded to include the International Distinguished badge, which because points can only be earned in Olympic, World Championship, World Cup and Continental Championships.

In 2001, a Junior Distinguished Badge for excellence in three-position air rifle competitions was added, which points are earned at sanctioned matches by only the best marksmen. Each Junior Distinguished Air Rifle Badge is serial numbered, and to date, only 583 have been awarded.

The Precision Team members with their overall Precision individual placement and scores include Duncan Pawloski, Team Captain (#3/1269.9); Nathan Reyes (#63/1133); Mirella Torres (#74/1126); Max Pawloski (#81/1121); and William Coulter-Porth (#98/1105).

The 1st Annual CMP Regional Air Rifle Championships brought together twenty-nine of the very best precision and thirty-five sporter class junior three-position air rifle teams and clubs. The regional championships took place in three locations: The CMP Marksmanship Center in Anniston, Alabama; Camp Perry, Ohio; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Only the top 75 competitors in sporter and precision class from around the county are invited to compete in the 2013 CMP Junior Three-Position Air Rifle National Championships. This will consist of 14 teams (four (4) members and one (1) alternate) in each class as well as five (5) individuals-at-large whose team did not qualify or who competed as an individual.

“I am extremely proud of my student marksmen” said LTC (retired) Alan W. Maitland, Senior Army Instructor and Team Coach. “I am very fortunate have such dedicated and talented students who spent hours in the range to enhance their skills.” adds Maitland. “Air rifle marksmanship is a very safe sport that is extremely effective in teaching our cadets life skills that enhance their performances in schoolwork as well as in the home and job-related activities and I have seen my air rifle team cadets develop in a number of areas to include better concentration, self control, self discipline, and increased responsibility.”

Johnson JROTC compete in El Paso and Albuquerque.The JROTC Air Rifle team had a great time competing in El Paso and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Posted on April 18, 2013