Local high school shooting squads headed to Phoenix

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FARMINGTON — The marksmanship squad at Piedra Vista High School is no stranger to the national stage, and it will be eyeing gold again this year.

PV will make its eighth straight appearance at nationals, while Bloomfield will make its third consecutive trip when the national marksman competition is held Saturday and Sunday in Phoenix.

"It's nice to have all of us going, considering that we're a pretty small team anyway," PV marksman Amoret McCartney said.

Fellow PV marksman Kasen Grogan said it'll be his first time competing at the national level. Although he's only been taking part in the sport for a little more than a year, Grogan was an avid hunter before he joined the team. Grogan said shooting for PV allowed him to improve his accuracy.

Lately, Grogan said he's worked more on his projections when locking in on a target.

"I feel very confident (entering nationals)," Grogan said.

McCartney said PV's scores on the shooting range have gradually risen in recent months, which makes her even more hopeful about the Panthers' chances in Phoenix.

Piedra Vista marksmanship coach Dave Naber said his squad has been fine-tuning skills like shot process over the last few weeks, and he likes PV's chances this weekend.

"We're very excited. This is their chance to show at the national level all the skills they've acquired during their years of shooting," Naber said. "We've seen them respond well (to the big stage) in the past."

According to a press release, cadets will fire 10-meter, Olympic-style shots from the prone, standing and kneeling position using competition air rifles.

The press release also said Piedra Vista will qualify for the 2018 All Service JROTC Championship next month in Ohio if it places as one of the top-five Army precision shooting teams nationally.

Bloomfield also will qualify to go to Ohio if it places as one of the top eight sporter rifle squads nationally.

PV team members include McCartney, Grogan, Josephine John, Jordan Harris and Demi Faircloth.

Bloomfield’s members include Melanie Bowman, Keyshawn Yazzie, Kameron Castillo, Michaela Langlitz and Christian Lewis.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.

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