Rifle shooters from Chugiak and Eagle River high schools competed in the annual T-Bird Invitational match open to high school shooters across the Anchorage Bowl held at East High School on Oct. 29.
Teams from Bartlett, Dimond, East, South and West high schools participated in the match featuring two targets with ten shots in each of three positions: kneeling, prone and standing for the possibility of 600 points.
Chugiak shooters were Hanna Fitzgerald with a 565, Dana Gay with a 558, Keoni Quilinderino with a 491 and Auni Jensen with a 455. Together the CHS team scored 2069, earning the Mustangs seventh place in the invitational.
Eagle River shooters were Ashtin Bennett with a 576, Daniel Foshee with a 265, Haylee Nicholson with a 560, Haley McGrew with a 55 and Maddie Bidinger with a 243. Together the ERHS teams scored 2256, earning the Wolves second place in the invitational.
“Each of my shooters shot their part on Saturday to make our win and I am so proud,” Samantha Taylor, the ERHS coach, said. “Even though a couple of my shooters were upset with some of their shots, they still shot their best.”
The T-Bird Invitational is a rifle match in which high school rifle shooters let their guard down a bit, but remain competitive. It is intended to be a friendly environment in which shooters representing various Anchorage School District high schools can get together to encourage each other in a non-pressurized event.
“The mood was friendly for a competition and content. My shooters are prepared and ready,” Ryan Booth, the CHS coach said. His team had four shooters – a few less than other teams, but Booth was glad to have them there and ready to support their efforts.
One of his shooters echoed that.
Dana Gay, a CHS rifle shooter, said, “It was a good match overall for everyone, everyone was in good spirits and very friendly towards the match.”
Eagle River felt the mood as well and used it to their advantage with Bennett taking second overall in the invitational.
Bennet said she felt the support of her teammates and encouragement from other shooters that are usually considered rivals.
“Sometimes during the weekly Friday meets the air is always so solemn, but I didn’t feel that during the invitational,” says Bennett. “I was expecting a really strict and maybe cold mood around the range, but it was actually really nice, and I think that helped with my shooting, I was a lot more relaxed and just overall happier. I know that contributed to my scores, for sure.”
Editor’s Note: Haley McGrew is an editorial intern with The ECHO News and a student at Eagle River High School. She is a member of the school’s rifle team.