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By the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

Shooters from the Walla Walla High School rifle team are coming home tonight champions of the Western U.S. Army Junior ROTC Match, held Friday and Saturday at Camp Perry, Ohio.

The five members of the Wa-Hi precision team won first place among the 11 teams in their category throughout the Western U.S. The five shooters on the sporter team captured third overall out of 20 teams.

The 10 team members and their advisers will return late today, tired but elated, according to their coach advisor.

"These kids kept their heads in the game and their eyes on the prize. They were focused and intense," said Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor, former WWHS JROTC instructor in a news release. "Our precision team pretty much had a runaway win here, their margin of victory was so complete. The sporter team performed superbly, which is testimony to their talent and potential considering so many of them are so early in their marksmanship careers.

"We hope the community is proud of their team and will come out and help welcome the Western Army JROTC champions home."

The Wa-Hi traveling marksmanship team members are:

Precision Team: Cadet Capt. Rishi, senior, 17 (team captain); c/Capt. Karri Mickelson, senior, 18; c/Sgt. Caitlyn Lasseigne, junior, 17; c/Sgt. Sarah Jameson, sophomore, 16; c/Sgt. Allison Juergensen, sophomore, 16.

Sporter Team: c/Master Sgt. Nicki Thomas, senior, 17 (team captain); c/Sgt. Emily Bendix, junior, 17; c/Corporal Andrew Jenkins, sophomore, 16; c/Pvt. 1st Class Isaiah Ziegler, sophomore, 15; c/Pvt. 1st Class Olivia Holm, freshman, 15.

Their coaches and adviser are Sgt. 1st Class Mark Mebes, Master Sgt. Gerry Taylor and Kirk Jameson.

Precision shooter Sarah Jameson took first place overall with 1264 of a possible 1300 points, approximately four points ahead of the nearest competitor. Also from the precision team, Allison Juergensen took fifth place and Karri Mickelson sixth at the event. Sporter shooter Emily Bendix took second place with 1150 points, according to Taylor.

Hardware for the event was to be presented at ceremonies Saturday evening in Ohio. Nationals will be held in Alabama next month.

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