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!”