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Kathleen Lynch
07/29/2014 4:34 PM

The A&A Shooters hit the “Jackpot” in Las Vegas at the US Open Youth Clay Shooting Championships, at Clark Co. Shooting Park, July 9 to 12, by medaling in every event in which they competed. The four-day competition included the clay target sports of skeet, sporting clays and trap. There were 312 competitors representing 32 teams from California, Nevada, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

The first day of competition, Wednesday, dawned under the shade of clouds,

keeping the scorching desert temperatures to a tolerable level for the one-day, 200-target skeet event. Fifteen A&A Shooters, having trained in the heat for a couple of weeks prior, claimed three squad awards, one in every category they competed in, and four individual awards.

The Intermediate Advanced squad of Kobe Wright, Humera Ali and Adam Marxmiller broke scores of 179, 181 and 164, respectively, for a runaway total squad score of 524/600, earning them a gold medal. Their closest competitor, Phantom Sureshots, from Arizona broke a score of 509 for silver, and Gold Country Shooters, of Calaveras Co., 451, for bronze. Ali earned her first 25-straight and was tied for first individual with Diablo Valley’s Ethan Millan, but did not prevail in the “Miss-and-Out” shoot-off. Teammate Kobe Wright took the bronze.

A&A’s JV and Varsity squads were unable to catch the tough-shooting Diablo Valley Skeet team, whose youth shooters specialize in the sport of skeet. Diablo Valley JV shooters broke 560 targets for 1st with A&A’s squad of Dylan Smith, Alex Case and Ian Dunne breaking 189, 173 and 166, respectively, for a silver squad score of 528. Woodcreek HS came in 3rd with a 458. Smith was presented the silver medal for 2nd place individual and Case earned his first 25-straight patch. Dunne, a trap and bunker shooter, learned how to shoot skeet only a week before the competition, in order to create a competitive JV squad and helped his teammates to the podium.

In Varsity skeet, Diablo Valley was again hard to beat with their squad score of 574, but the A&A Squad of Justin Boitano, Tyler Buckmaster and Clayton Holmes gave them a run for their money. Boitano broke all but one of his first 100 targets, for his first 50- and 75-straight, finishing with a total score of 194 and 2nd place individual in JV. Boitano’s score, combined with Buckmaster’s 183 and Holmes 178, placed them firmly in 2nd place, with a total of 555. Woodcreek HS shooters took third with 549.

The A&A Varsity squad of Bobby Boitano, Teresa Teixeira and Jason Barry tied for third with Woodcreek, but did not prevail in the shoot-off. Boitano broke a 180, Teixeira 185 and Barry 184. Matthew Ahlers, shooting skeet with his sister, Meagan, and teammate Rich Bohn, formed the other Varsity squad for A&A. At the end of the first round, Matthew smashed his last two low house 8 targets for a perfect score, his first 25. Continuing in this vein, he earned his first 50- and 75-straight for a total score of 191. Meagan broke a 91 and 93 to finish with a 184 and Bohn broke a 133. Jason and Meagan also earned their first 25-straight patches.

Thursday was a day of rest for most A&A Shooters, except for preparing for the trap competition with practice, while the 100-target Sporting Clays event was being held again under cloudy skies with drops of rain keeping competitors cool. Several A&A Shooters competed on the NorCal Longshots team that practices at Camanche Hills Sporting Clays and again earned medals for their performances.

Friday and Saturday were reserved for the 200-target trap competition. The luck with the Las Vegas weather was running out, but not the luck of the A&A Shooters. Out of the five A&A squads entered in the trap event, three received squad awards and three received individual medals for their excellent shooting skills. Four shooters hit their first 25’s, nine their first 50, three their first 75-straight, two their first 100-straight and one, an amazing 200-straight. Many broke their personal best scores.

The Junior High A&A Shooters took their shooting mechanics and mental concentration to another level for an entire squad effort, breaking 941/1,000 for first place. Seventh-grader Kodee Smith led his squad to victory with his excellent shooting on the first day, breaking his first 75- and 100-straight, followed on Saturday by a 97, putting him on top of the podium as an individual, earning him a championship silver belt buckle. Smith’s four other squadmates followed in his footsteps and broke their personal bests. Both Humera Ali and Kobe Wright broke 95’s on Friday and 98’s on Saturday for 194’s, earning their first 50-straight patches. Hunter Hobbick shot his per sonal best score, with a 90 and 95 for a 185. Adam Marxmiller had a rough first day, but turned it around on Saturday with a personal best 93 and a total score of 173. In second place was Team Coon Creek from Lincoln with a 930, and Los Banos took third with a 929.

A&A’s Junior Varsity squad was in second place after Friday, five targets behind the stellar performance of Yuba City HS. The A&A squad of Dylan Smith, Levi Chronis, Jacob Barry, Ian Dunne and Alex Case shot two targets better on Saturday but it was not enough to overcome the Yuba team. Smith broke a 191, Chronis 193, Barry 173, Dunne 195 and Case 194. Chronis and Case had their first 50-straights. The squad score of 946 earned them the silver, with Yuba City breaking a 952 for gold and Granite Bay HS a 945 for bronze. Dunne took an individual JV third place. Eric Windehausen of Del Oro took first with a 197 and Chase Kruse from Silver State Clay Breakers, of Nevada, took second with a 196. A&A’s JV shooter Carter Kaup broke his personal bests with scores of 83 and 93 for a 176.

The Varsity category was the most competitive, with eight squads within 10 targets of each other after the first day of competition. One A&A squad was in first place by three targets, ahead of the tough-shooting Arizona team from Lake Havasu, who had a perfect 125 round. Squad leader Bobby Boitano broke a 95; Brett Case shot his first 75 and then 100 straight; Teresa Teixeira let only one target fly for a 99 with her first 50- and 75-straight; Lane Chronis continued to smash all of his targets for a 100 and Tyler Buckmaster finished the first day with a 92.

On the second day, Head Coach Richard Lynch told them to not look at the scores, but to focus on giving each target their full attention. The squad increased its score by six targets, making it tough for anyone to catch them (though it was close). Boitano increased his score by 4 targets for a 99; Case broke 99; Teixeira 98; Buckmaster 96; and Lane Chronis, under a sigh of relief from the crowd, finished his last round clean for another perfect 100 and his first 200-straight, only the second time in the 13-year history of the A&A team that a shooter has broken 200 straight. The squad finishing on top was A&A, with a 978, followed by De La Salle HS 972 and Woodcreek HS 967.

One would imagine, with a perfect 200 score, that 1st place would be in the bag, but not so, since there was another 200, from Sam Dyer, of De La Salle. In the shoot-off, Chronis broke a perfect score and Dyer dropped one, awarding Chronis the silver belt buckle for Varsity Champion out of 125 competitors. A&A’s Brett Case tied with three other shooters with 199 for third place. In the shoot-off, it was Zane Hedgpeth of Sonora HS who broke all 25 to claim third.

A&A had a second squad in the top 10, placing 8th. Breaking a score of 952 were Justin Boitano 197, with a perfect first 50, 75 and 100 straight; Meagan Ahlers 180; Clayton Holmes 186; Nick Anderson 193; and Matthew Ahlers 196, with his first 50-straight. And, in 13th place, with a squad score of 927, were Rich Bohn 195, for a personal best score and a first 50-straight; Kalynn Bassett, with her personal best 189; Ryan Garcia 187, for his first 25- and 50-straights; Ethan Carpenter 181; and Dustin Bertero 175.

Coach Lynch said, “I thought that at last year’s US Open we did really good, because we had a varsity squad winning gold in every event they entered, but this year we had A&A squads in Varsity, Junior Varsity and Intermediate winning in both trap and skeet and that really shows the depth of the A&A Shooters team. And to cap it off, Lane Chronis graduating from our program this year, was able to break every target that he saw, to win the top Varsity award, and it couldn’t have gone to a nicer and more deserving guy. This will be our inspiration to come back next year and do it all over again.”

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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