The Prep School portion of the Connecticut Gallery Championship took place on Wednesday Feb. 15 At Blue Trail Range in Wallingford with schools from Avon Old Farms, Suffield Academy and Wilbraham and Monson Academy putting forth a total of 16(?) 4-person teams.
High individual score was WMA shooter Dan Wesson with a excellent 196 including 15 center shots, closely followed by team mate Erika Convery with a 196-11. Third place went to Jun Ahn from AOF with a 190 -8x beating out Kari Vinje of Suffield by 1 center shot. Thanks to the outstanding shooting of Dan Wesson and Erika of WMA, Wilbraham won the Prep School Championship, 5 points ahead of Suffield Gold’s score of 750.
Wilbraham’s win was their first since 1989, when Dan Wesson’s Dad Erik shot on the Wilbraham team with Jim Remaly, Joe Zike and Tim Hogan. Another interesting fact is that Jim Remaly’s Dad, Len was coaching the Avon team at the prestigious Tournament. Wilbraham has been working hard for the last several years to rebuilt its rifle team back to the Championship level, it was at during the 1980’s when they won several league championships with athletes that set National records and won state games championships and later some National Collegiate Championships. Suffield and Avon performed at an outstanding level, considering that Suffield, the team to beat in recent years, lost around 8 of their top shooting seniors last year, while Avon, the Prep school champion 4 years ago, had 9 of its 12 team members brand new to rifle shooting.
The Team shooting produced some amazingly contested performances. Suffield Bronze shot a 735 out of 800, just 1 point ahead of Avon’s Gold team. WMA’s Team Findley shot a 698 to beat Avon Bronze by a paper thin 1 point margin. Suffield Silver shot a 688 over Avon’s 687 again by one point giving Avon the all time unwanted Championship record of having 3 teams lose the next higher place by a microscopic 1 point out of a possible 800.
Avon had a number of their new shooters excel. Feng Lu won 10th place with a 187, Seongwoon Cho shot a personal high 184, team manager Matt An, recovering from a hand injury that kept him from shooting for nearly 80% of the season shot a personal best of 179. Until the last few weeks hard working Gary Zuo and Ho Lee had trouble hitting the scoring rings in the standing position. Both shot good standing scores, with Gary shooting 2 ten’s and a 9 in the sighting bull eliciting a comment “I can’t believe I am capable of shooting 10’s and 9’s in the standing position”.
With Wilbraham on top of the heap this year and Suffield and Avon building their teams, next year should provide some exciting matches between the 3 Prep Schools!