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Plum's Kolar takes third place at state rifle championships, LeClair 14th

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Plum senior Scott Kolar and junior Melissa LeClair took part in the state individual rifle championships Feb. 19 at the Frazier Simplex Gun Club in Washington, and Kolar finished third out of 28 shooters from the WPIAL and other schools across the state.

Kolar finished with a score of 392 out of 400, while Trinity's Courtney Styles and Kayla Huffman shot 395 and 393, respectively, to take home the top two spots.

LeClair finished 14th with a score of 385.

“Just getting to states and being one of the top 14 shooters in the WPIAL is an accomplishment in and of itself,” Plum head coach Scott Kolar Sr. said.

The course of fire and the targets for the state shoot were different from the WPIAL regular season, as well as the WPIAL team and individual championships.

The target for states is smaller, and the circle at the center of the target for WPIALs becomes a black dot.

The number of targets for states increases to four, as compared to the two targets used for the WPIAL competition. Each competitor gets 40 minutes to complete shooting at the four targets.

The maximum score for each target is 100, for a 400 maximum total, and center shots are used for tiebreaker purposes.

Eight of the top 14 shooters were from the WPIAL.

Hempfield's Abbie Bache, the WPIAL individual champion, finished 10th with a score of 386.

Scott Kolar shot at states with a broken right thumb suffered a couple of weeks ago.

“That extended time and course of fire really gave him a lot of trouble,” coach Kolar said. “He had to switch from a glove to a mitt. His thumb was killing him when he was done.”

Kolar had a 395 score going into the last target and his fourth target was perfect through seven of 10 shots, but he missed on his final three shots and finished third.

Each shooter had a designated time within the three days to complete his or her four targets, unlike the WPIAL finals where close to 70 shooters competed at the same time in the same location.

“There was less pressure in one way and more pressure in another way,” coach Kolar said.

“It wasn't as chaotic with dozens of shooters standing around and coaches yelling, but there was pressure with the unknown of never having shot at states before. Scott and Melissa hadn't shot those type of targets before.”

Hempfield captured the state team title with a 974 score. McGuffey placed second (969), and Avella took third (968).

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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