Hempfield rifle right on target
TribLIVE Sports Videos
After the Hempfield rifle team finished second behind Woodland Hills at the WPIAL championship meet, coach Tom Miller insisted the Spartans were capable of shooting a better score.
Turns out Miller was right.
Hempfield capped its season with a first-place finish at the Pennsylvania State Scholastic Team and Individual Smallbore Rifle Championships, held the last week of February at Frazier Simplex Rifle Club in Washington.
Unlike the WPIAL meet, the state championships for rifle are held independently of the PIAA and sponsored by the Pennsylvania Rifle and Pistol Association and the NRA Foundation.
The Spartans finished with a team score of 978, which was more than second-place Woodland Hills (975) and third-place Avella (974).
"I think they got comfortable with the fact that they were shooting very well and expected it to happen. But it didn't happen," Miller said of his team's runner-up finish at the WPIAL team tournament. "They made it happen at the state level, and they need to be real proud of that."
The state meet differed slightly from the WPIAL meet in that the shooters aimed at two USA-50 targets instead of A-17s. The difference• The high-scoring areas shrink on USA-50s, scores generally drop, and the better shooters tend to shine.
One of those shooters was senior Nicole Metz, who turned in a spectacular postseason and claimed the individual state title with a score of 394.
She also shot 100-8x -- a typical A-17 score, with the "x" used to signify a bull's eye -- to help Hempfield to its second-place finish at the WPIAL team championships. Metz claimed her first individual title two days later with a score of 200-18x (and six center shots to break the tie).
"She's worked real hard for four years," Miller said of Metz. "She's been after those two titles for the past four years and was finally able to get it together. Just hard work and keeping very focused on her goals."
Joining Metz in the top 15 at the state shoot were junior Kayla Dowling (389) and sophomore Keegan Miller (388). Fellow sophomore Abbie Bache placed 20th with a score of 384.
In the team competition -- which keeps the top five scores as opposed to the eight at the WPIAL meet -- Andrew Yasenosky led the way at 198. Metz shot 197, Keegan Miller 195, and Dave Robinson and Trent Thomas were at 194.
The state championship is the first for Hempfield, which placed second in 2010, the same year it won its only WPIAL team title. Metz also became the first Hempfield shooter to capture a WPIAL or state individual championship.
"They didn't like falling short of the WPIAL title," Miller said. "Their desire to win the state championship ... I think it was more to prove to themselves that they were the best team, as opposed to proving anything to anybody else. They had something to prove, and they went there and did that."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.