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!”

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About Author

Megan Wehring graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. Wehring has reported for the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch for a year, covering all things local. This includes city council meetings, town events, education and human interest stories. Previously, Wehring worked at KTSW FM-89.9 (Texas State University's official radio station) for two consecutive years. She was a news reporter, assistant news director and monthly segment producer during her time at KTSW. Wehring is passionate about the local reporter aspect. With a heart for storytelling, she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are most important to the community.

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