Schadler and Mitchell Crowned Top Individual Shooters in 2011 Air Force JROTC Service Championships
By Steve Cooper and Sommer Wood
ANNISTON, ALABAMA – Cordelia Schadler, 15, of Battle Ground High School, Washington, won the 2011 Air Force JROTC precision air rifle service championship and Katelynn Mitchell, 17, of Western Hills High School, Texas, earned the gold medal in the sporter air rifle division here on 25-26 February.
Cordelia Schadler, 15, of Battle Ground High School, Washington, won the 2011 Air Force JROTC precision air rifle individual service championship at Anniston, Alabama.
Schadler, firing a two-day 3x20x2 format totaling an aggregate score of 1194.6, topped Markus Fuchs, 16, of neighboring Prairie High School, Washington (1180.6) and teammate Christian Harris, 17, of Battle Ground (1174.8).
It was the first time any Air Force JROTC program fired precision air rifle in a service championship. The national AFJROTC shooting program started a few years ago with a sporter class-only resume. Battle Ground HS and Prairie HS, located in the same southwestern Washington school district, were the only schools represented in the precision team matches and they finished first and second, respectively.
Schadler, a freshman shooting in her first year with Battle Ground, has been shooting precision air rifle and smallbore rifle with the Vancouver, Washington Rifle and Pistol Club.
Mitchell, the sporter air rifle champion, is a junior shooting in her first year with Western Hills after transferring schools. Shooting since she was nine years old, Mitchell broke into airgun shooting with a Red Ryder BB Gun. She has also shot black powder and came up through the 4-H shooting program.
Cordelia Schadler prepares to send a pellet downrange in the 2011 precision air rifle championships.
Asked how she felt entering the sporter class final, she said “Not too nervous coming in – just a chance to shoot some more shots. I did get a little nervous in the middle on the fifth shot, but I settled down,” she said. After high school she has hopes of shooting for Texas Christian University.
DeArmond Lopez, 16, of Sandia High School, New Mexico, finished in second place with a total score of 1147, edging Jason Hamby, 18, of Clearfield High School, Utah, who placed third with an aggregate score of 1146.6. Hamby trailed Lopez by eight points entering the 10-shot final and came within four-tenths of a point of tying him with a 92.6, the highest score of all eight finalists.
The Battle Ground High School team of Cody Johnson, Christian Harris, Sarah Barnes and Cordelia Schadler established several new records at the service championship as the first AFJROTC team to participate in the precision air rifle division.
In precision air rifle team competition, Schadler led her Battle Ground squad, compiling a team aggregate score of 4319. Her teammates were Christian Harris, Cody Johnson and Sarah Barnes. The team is coached by Col. Brian Brown, USAF (Ret.).
Prairie High School, led by Markus Fuchs, scored a total of 4220 points as the only other precision team entrant. Ford Braun II, Desiree’ MacPherson and Emily Wattez rounded out the Prairie squad. The team is coached by Col. Peter Gray, USAF.
The Battle Grounds and Prairie shooting programs were shut down for eight months beginning last spring over school district concerns about lead contamination. The schools tested non-lead pellets all summer and now shoot non-lead (Predator international pellets). The teams were reinstated in October under a mandate that they shoot non-lead pellets only.
Katelynn Mitchell began her competitive marksmanship career at age nine with a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun. This month she led her Western Hills High School AFJROTC sporter team to the top of the championship podium.
Shooting is the biggest draw for the JROTC program at the rural schools in Washington’s logging country. Battle Grounds has about 2,000 students and when air rifle was added, the JROTC program grew from 35 to 118 cadets after almost shutting down due to low numbers.
In sporter team competition, Mitchell led her Western Hills group, scoring 4165 points. Ray Chhith, Lara Lindberg and Alexander Mayberry rounded out the team, which was coached by LtCol. Bobby Payne, USAF.
Katelynn Mitchell, 17, of Western Hills High School, Texas, earned the gold medal in the sporter air rifle division for her performance in Anniston on 25-26 February.
Western Hills was the first JROTC Air Force Team to come to a CMP Summer Camp, and one of the original teams established by the Air Force Cadet Command. Coach Payne said he was extremely happy to win, and enjoys seeing the fast growth of the Air Force JROTC shooting program. He is retiring at the end of this school year, but said he will remain involved with the team.
Led by Katelynn Mitchell, the Western Hills High School sporter air rifle team took top honors in their division. Mitchell was joined by Lara Lindberg, Alexander Mayberry and Ray Chhith. The team was coached by LtCol. Bobby Payne, USAF.
Clearfield High School, Utah, placed second in sporter team scoring with an aggregate of 4105. Coached by Kit Workman, Clearfield’s team was comprised of Robert Estrada, Jason Hamby, Eric Koenig and Ian Gillette.
South Anchorage High School, Alaska took third place with a total score of 4087. The Alaskan squad was comprised of Jason Cusack, Kristina Henkel, David Arthur and Connor Faith. South Anchorage is coached by Bevan Orme.
David McCallister of Mesa, Arizona takes aim with his sporter air rifle during a kneeling stage of the 2011 AFJROTC service championships. All participants fired two 20-round stages each in the prone, kneeling and standing positions for a total of 1200 possible qualification points.
Qualifying finalists from the AFJROTC service championships will advance to the National JROTC Championships to compete against Army, Marine Corps and Navy cadets at the CMP Marksmanship Center in Anniston, Alabama, 24-26 March to determine the top individuals and teams overall.
For complete results of the AFJROTC Service Championships, log onto http://clubs.odcmp.com/cgi-bin/report_matchResult.cgi?matchID=6493. To view photos from the event, log onto http://cmp1.zenfolio.com.