Youth rifle shooters Cassidy Chupa (back from left)

Rifle shooters hit mark at nationals

Four Williams Lake F-Class rifle shooters had a solid showing at the Canadian Nationals in Ottawa Aug. 13-16.

Four Williams Lake F-Class rifle shooters had a solid showing at the Canadian Nationals in Ottawa Aug. 13-16.

Williams Lake’s Cassidy Chupa, Thomas Pinchbeck, Justin Bond and Zach Herrick made up more than half of the seven athletes competing on the Canadian Junior team.

The other three athletes were Dylan Bisson from Alberta, Coty Pranke from Saskatchewan and Rhys Ireland from Ontario whose dad Stephen Ireland was their coach.

“The juniors did an amazing job and made an adult-dominated sport take notice of our youth,” said Caroline Chupa, who competed as the lone woman on the adult national team.

“Unfortunately not all the youth of the Williams Lake group attended but those who went did extremely well and are paving their way towards a strong future in F Class shooting.”

In the FTR category lakecity shooters were the top three juniors as top junior marksmen Bond was followed by Herrick and then Chupa. Among the 39 FTR competitors the trio placed 24th, 25th and 38th overall.

The team events were scored out of a possible 300 points with 60 bull’s-eyes at five points each.

As a team the juniors placed fifth out of eight in the F Open category with 279 points and 16 bull’s-eyes. In the FTR category they placed fourth out of seven teams with 264 points and 16 bull’s-eyes.

“The juniors had the least amount of training and experience of the rest of the shooters on the line and they more than held their own,” said Chupa.

On the last day of the competition they competed in the America’s Cup which is strictly team matches and allows international competitors. The juniors placed second in the 500-metre and 600-metre events out of five teams with two of the squads from the USA.

At the further distances of 800 and 900 metres it proved difficult for the juniors as they ended up in fifth.

“In the 500 and 600 metre matches the juniors were in the lead over the Canadian National adult team so it was very exciting for them,” said Chupa.

Next up for the local shooters is two weekend fun matches in Kamloops including one this weekend and another in October.

Chupa is currently in talks with people from Bisley, England and hopes to raise money and send a Canadian contingent to their Imperial Shoot next July.

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