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Hays JROTC rifle team soars at national competition

By Megan Wehring 

The Hays Marine Corps JROTC marksmanship team placed fourth overall in the Junior Olympics and Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) National Three-Position Air Rifle (3PAR) Sporter Championships on June 25 and 26. 

The national competitions were split between two locations this year due to COVID restrictions, with half of the top teams competing in Anniston, AL, and the other half in Camp Perry, OH.  Awards were presented for both locations, as well as for overall placement in the nation. For the Anniston location, the team placed third. It was presented with a CMP Nationals trophy, bronze medals and a check for $500. 

Recently graduated seniors Jason Champagne, Franco Fabela, Tristan Jordan and sophomore Nathaniel Quiles made up the team.

The three seniors had been on the Hays MCJROTC team throughout high school, competing in local, state and national competitions each year. Competitors shoot targets placed 10 meters away, from three different positions: prone, standing and kneeling. The tournaments consist of 20 rounds from each position; after 60 rounds, the top eight finishers advance to a high-pressure, fast-paced finals round. 

“We drove over 1800 miles to Anniston and back to compete in two intense days of national-level shooting,” Champagne said. “After having multiple national competitions cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, it was so nice to finally have a national competition in person, especially my last one. … This is an experience I will never forget!”

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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