ERHS third, Chugiak fifth at CIC riflery meet

Young ‘Cat’ leads locals with fifth-place finish in first year


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Eagle River’s Brenden Lyon takes aim at a target during the Cook Inlet Conference riflery championships on Dec. 3 at West High. Eagle River finished third in the competition. Chugiak was fifth.

STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER

Eagle River High freshman Cathryn “Cat” Papasodora finished the season as the fifth-best shooter in the conference after firing an aggregate score of 383 at the Cook Inlet Conference riflery championships Saturday, Dec. 3 at West Anchorage.

“She is awesome,” Wolves head coach Jeff Parker said.

For the second consecutive year, Eagle River finished third behind second-place Dimond and conference champion West. Chugiak, led by senior Devon Clark’s 287, finished fifth. Dimond’s Reniel Aljibe was the top individual with a 387 aggregate score.

The Lynx edged Eagle River by just two points.

As Parker expected, Eagle River’s A team performed well in the season’s final match.

“I knew we would be very competitive with our top shooters,” he said.

The Wolves’ goal was to beat Dimond, senior Chris Pascale said. The slim margin made the third-place finish more disappointing, he said.

“I’d rather get blown out,” Pascale said.

Pascale and Papasodora both shot 285s in the qualification round, earning a spot in the individual final with the other top-10 shooters. Just one other Eagle River shooter has made it to the final in the Wolves’ seven-year history, Parker said.

Clark’s 287 had him in fourth after all A shooters finished, but he didn’t compete in the final.

In the final, each shooter took 10 shots in the offhand position. That score was added to their qualification score and the aggregate then used to determine the individual top-10 rankings, Parker said.

Papasodora’s 98 was the third-best in the final.

Pasclae, who fired a 292 — four points off the CIC record — on Nov. 11, said he wanted to set the new record in his final high school match.

“My hope was to break the district record,” he said. “But I fell short.”

While a 285 in the qualification round was disappointing for Pascale, the same score pleased his young teammate.

Feeling more nervous than any other match, Papasodora said she was hoping to shoot a 280.

“I exceeded my goal,” she said.

Other Eagle River A team members included senior Brandon Henderson (281) and junior Brenden Lyon (275). Jarrett Oney fired a 277 to lead the Wolves’ B team.

Nicholas Bozzo shot a 279 for Chugiak’s C team. Garrett Johnson fired a 277 for the A team and Delaney Hawkins recorded a 276 for the Mustangs’ B team.

Clark, a four-year shooter, said the early 8 a.m. start time helped keep him calm.

“I was more relaxed this year,” he said. “Probably because I just woke up.”

Like Clark, Chugiak senior Jacob Campbell said he was able to keep his nerves under control.

“For other people, there is a lot of pressure. For me, I consider it another practice,” he said. “You’re still working on your style and form.”

Campbell said he was not happy with firing a 264.

“I could have done a lot better,” he said. “It was just one of those days.”

But, Campbell said, he doesn’t dwell on unsatisfactory scores. Rather, he uses them to improve.

“If I’m not satisfied with my performance, it’s another practice,” he said. “No one’s got it all. You still need practice with everything.”

Chugiak is losing five seniors — Clark, Campbell, Dakota Emery, Michael Langman and Christine Vincent.

Campbell said he’ll miss the “characters” on the team — Eric Dicks and Gage Bradford.

Eagle River is losing four seniors — Henderson, Pascale, Ryan Lavey and Amanda Nowicki. Like this year, the Wolves will have an underclassmen-heavy team next year, Pascale said.

“We built our team from scratch this year,” he said.

The influx of youth bodes well for Eagle River’s riflery program, Pascale said, and the Wolves should have a strong team in the next two to three years.

Leaving the team will be a strange experience, Pascale said.

“It’s gonna be weird not coming back next year,” he said.

Pascale said he’ll miss the camaraderie shared with his teammates.

“It’s the longest running sport,” he said. “By the time it’s over, everybody knows each other.”

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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