By Rachel L. WatkinsMay 22, 2009
The Fort Benning Junior Rifle Club took first place in the precision class team competition at the U.S. Army Junior Open Air Rifle Championship Friday and Saturday at Pool International Shooting Complex. The Fort Benning club received a trophy, medals and bragging rights as the best precision team competing against 20 teams from across the nation.
Fort Benning's Andrea Vautrin, a 17-year-old junior at Chattahoochee County High School, took second place in the precision class.
"There were some really tough competitors," Vautrin said. "I could have done better, but placing second individually overall is good and I'm ecstatic the team placed first. We worked hard for this."
The championship was two days long, with two sporter, two precision and two top eight competitions.
In the precision class, shooters fired 40 rounds in the standing position each day, and in the sporter class, shooters shot 20 rounds in three positions - standing, kneeling and prone. Each team participated in one class.
Vautrin said the championship's most challenging part was maintaining focus during the 40-shot relay.
"It was difficult to focus for that long," she said. "I haven't shot that long before in the standing position."
Breanna Kasl, stepdaughter of SSG Carl Cazee and a 17-year-old junior at Chattahoochee County High School, said the competition was more of a mental challenge than a physical challenge.
"You have to have a positive attitude when you shoot for that long and be confident that you will succeed," she said. "And focus is important too. The slightest movement can affect the accuracy of your shot."
Kasl placed 10th overall against 22 shooters in the individual competition.
"I think I could have shot better the first day - my nerves were getting to me," she said.
"I came back the second day confident, calm, focused and rested and did better and made the top eight."
Fort Benning's Arielle Mouhot placed third and Fort Benning's Jimmie Cooper placed fifth in the individual precision class championship.
Emily Quiner of the Minnesota Centershots from Brooklyn Park Minn., earned first in the individual precision class competition.
Yvonne Swiontek of Zion Benton High School, Illinois, took first in the sporter individual championship and Zion Benton High School took first in the sporter class team competition.