Eagle River High School Wolves shooters won 7-0 in the match against the East High Thunderbirds Fri., Oc.14, 2016.
The match featured a night of personal bests for Eagle River and East High School shooters. Eagle River’s Ashtin Bennett topped the night off with the highest score of the match and a personal best with a score of 291 out of 300. Scoring 291 out of 300 is a huge accomplishment for the third year shooter who looked Friday night much more as she did at last year’s Regions where her shooting earned her the first place.
“When I was shooting I was completely relaxed, I had a couple bad days before,” Bennett said. “The motto I’ve been living on is ‘Give Yourself Some Grace’. So there was no pressure, no stress, and I just did what makes me happy. When I heard my score I had to pause, thinking ‘wait, what?’ And when I heard 291 a second time I felt like crying, I was so happy. It’s exhilarating, knowing that you’re capable of something like that.”
Fans of high school rifle shooting look forward to seeing what is to come for not only this young shooter but all the other shooters that also shot personal bests Friday. East High School’s A Team shooter, Kendra Nethery shot her personal best of 280. But it wasn’t just A Team shooters that were breaking personal bests. East’s D Team shooter Terran Lavonne outshot East’s top A Team shooter with a 281. Also, Eagle River’s D Team shooter Spencer Singleton shot his personal best of 272 and Jonah Wegner shot his personal best a 262. Both shooter’s scores outshot members of their B Team shooters, but since they didn’t qualify to compete in the match their scores did not count for the overall score.
The Eagle River A Team shooters were Ashtin Bennett with a 291, Ian Soellers with a 280, Daniel Foshee with a 277 and Brandon Rose with a 276. Together, Team A scored a 1,124 against East’s score of 1,059 and earned Eagle River two points.
The Eagle River B Team shooters were Madeline Bidinger with a 275, Haylee Nicholson with a 270, Colby Fletcher with a 261 and Zachary Keith with a 261. Together, Team B scored a 1,067 against East’s score of 922 and earned Eagle River two points.
The Eagle River C Team shooters were Haley McGrew with a 261, Jacob Schwartz with a 255, Grace Rochon with a 249 and William Brandl with a 249. Together, Team C scored a 1,014 against East’s score of 810 and earned Eagle River two points.
Eagle River’s overall score of 3,205 against East’s overall score of 2,791, earned Eagle River one more point to finish off the night.
The night started out as any other Friday night match with shooters lining up on the range and taking practice shots before the match began. It ended in a night of personal bests – a sort of frosting on the cake whilst taking the cake too for a high school shooter to earn a personal best in an actual match.
For the Wolves, the Oct. 14 win a “huge accomplishment” compared to the previous week’s loss to Dimond High School. Team member say they are ready to continue to improve – spurred on by the Oct. 14 personal bests – and are determined to not let anything get in the way of shooting.
This week’s practices are intended to be challenging ones as the Wolves get ready to take on cross-town rivals, the Chugiak High School Mustangs.
“This week we spent a lot of time making adjustments to rifles so they fit our shooters better. Thanks to the generous NRA grant, we were able to buy some sight risers and now most of our shooters can finally see through their sights without having to tilt their heads way over,” Taylor said. “They didn’t really have a chance to get readjusted to these changes, so this week we will be focusing on positioning so they can get used to the adjustments, which will ultimately allow them to increase their scores. I am excited to watch all of them continue to grow. I hope to see everyone settle into their rifles and routines and shoot their personal bests again on Friday.”
The Wolves and the Mustangs are set to shoot on Fri., Oct. 21 at Chugiak High School at 3:30 p.m., according to the Anchorage School District online sports schedule.
Editor’s Note: Haley McGrew is an editorial intern with The ECHO News. She is a student at Eagle River High School and a member of the rifle shooting team.