GHSA Riflery Championships
Wright leads ECHS to fourth-place finish
COLUMBUS — Sometimes, even when you perform well, it's just not quite good enough.
Such was the case for East Coweta's rifle team Saturday at the Georgia High School Association State Championships at the Pool International Shooting Complex on Fort Benning.
The Indians, who were in second place by just one point midway through the competition, finished fourth despite shooting a team total (1,149) that would've won the state championships last year.
"We shot well," said East Coweta's coach, Maj. Peter Merrill. "I'm disappointed for the kids and we had high expectations coming in, but the kids did great. There's a lot of pressure shooting in the state championships, but they did well. We had a good season."
The finish was right on pace for the Indians, who averaged 1,147.70 during a 9-0 regular season record in Area 5 en route to its championship trophy and a No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.
Allatoona won the team title with a state record 1,162 total as the Buccaneers had three shooters top the 290-point mark in the qualifying round. Upson-Lee came in second at 1,153, just ahead of Lumpkin County (1,152) and East Coweta.
Leading the way for East Coweta was junior Alex Wright, who finished eighth in the individual standings. Wright shot 291 in the qualifying round, netting her the eighth and final slot in the individual finals. While she wasn't able to move up in the 10-shot finals, she finished with a total of 383.7 and was pleased with her performance.
"I feel like I shot well today," said Wright, who's been shooting for about a year and made her first trip to the GHSA championships. "I've been at the 290-plus level for the last month and to be the eighth-best shooter in the state is good."
Wright shot in the day's first relay and had to wait most of the day to see if she qualified for the individual finals and she said she wasn't sure if her score would make the cut.
"It was a little hard to wait," said Wright. "I thought I didn't make it, but I'm glad I did."
Allatoona’s Alana Kelly won the state individual title with a qualifying score of 296 — another state record — and a final total score of 396.9. Kelly was almost four points ahead of runner-up Brandon Thomas of Apalachee (393.1) and Brianna Shelton of Winder-Barrow rounded out the top three at 392.4.
Along with Wright’s 291, Indians junior Glen Lauzon shot a 290 in the first relay of the day to put the Indians in second place, only a point behind champion Allatoona.
Sophomore Jonathan Satterfield netted a 288 and junior Destiny Collier finished with a 280 in the second relay and while it wasn’t enough to bring East Coweta a top-three finish, the Indians did manage to stay in the top four.
“I felt like we did great,” said Wright. “To come in fourth with so many people shooting well is pretty impressive.”
Lauzon, who fired a 297 in the state semifinals and was first among Marine Corps shooters at this year’s National JROTC Championships, heads to Colorado Springs next week after qualifying for the USA Junior Olympic Championships.
Georgia High School Association
State Rifle Championships
at Pool International Shooting Complex
1. Allatoona 1,162* (Ann Clay 292, Tommy Simrill 290, Alana Kelly 296*, Addison Helbling 284), 2. Upson-Lee (Alyssa Hanson 288, Shannon Tyssen 287, Rosemary Kramer 291, Miranda Baxley 287), 3. Lumpkin County 1,152 (Rhiannon Smith 284, Dakota Spivey 289, Heather Johnson 290, Morgan Tritt 289), 4. East Coweta 1,149 (Glen Lauzon 290, Alex Wright 291, Destiny Collier 280, Jonathan Satterfield 288), 5. Lee County 1,147 (Katelyn Howell 290, Courtney Weekly 292, Diamante Smith 284, Dylan Russell 281), 6. Columbus 1,146 (Kelly Orck 291, Josh Gonzales 289, Veronica Leggett 288, Sierra Moon 278), 7. Northside 1,134 (Cason Borum 285, Shelby Huber 287, Jade Gallahair 279, Brianna Henthorn 283), 8. Ware County 1,132 (Cody McMillan 287, Shelbie Smith 283, Bryan Whitaker 279, Kimberlee Nettles 281), 8. Elbert County 1,132 (Hannah Gary 290, Hunter Vickery 289, Tyler Segars 274, Jackson Whitlock 279), 10. Parkview 1,126 (Jonathan Stoves 289, William Zimmerman 275, Dalton Stoves 285, Gino Parathemmakill 277), 11. Luella 1,114 (Keon Carter 273, Talese Simley 267, Ethan Brown 290, Damasta Altman 284), 12. North Forsyth 1,101 (Alyson Godwin 281, Cameron Houston 270, Avery Babykin 270, Emily Strube 280), 13. Rutland 1,096 (Benjamin Gilbert 278, Ralph Cameron 276, Rafael Burgos 271, Gabriel Burgos 271).
Top 8 Individuals
1. Alana Kelly (Allatoona) 396.9, 2. Brandon Thomas (Appalachee) 393.1, 3. Brianna Shelton (Winder-Barrow) 392.4, 4. Courtney Weekly (Lee Co.) 390.9, 5. Ann Clay (Allatoona) 389.2, 6. Mitchell Miller (Union Grove) 388.4, 7. Matthew Waters (Monroe Area) 387.6, 8. Alex Wright (E. Coweta) 383.7.