Wa­ialua High School Ri­flery Team Logs Pro­gram’s First Win

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Islander -

BY STEVE MUR­RAY

Tucked away on the cam­pus of Wa­ialua High School is a team many know lit­tle about. Us­ing old and out­dated equip­ment, hid­den near the old ten­nis and bas­ket­ball courts, the air ri­flery team prac­tices with a com­bi­na­tion of con­cen­tra­tion and calm nec­es­sary to com­pete in the pre­cise sport.

It hasn’t been easy for the team made up of band mu­si­cians, ju­nior var­sity foot­ball play­ers and aca­demic club mem­bers. But the stu­dents are build­ing a pro­gram that un­til this year, could not fill a com­plete boys and girls team.

The Bull­dogs are in their first sea­son as a full-time sport, and as ex­pected they’ve taken their lumps. Just how much, no one is sure. As mostly a part-time ac­tiv­ity, no data ex­ists that records their his­tory. But with hard work and care­ful prac­tice, that has changed.

On Sept. 14, the team scored its first over­all and cat­e­gory win. Wa­ialua swept all cat­e­gories with se­nior and co-cap­tain Khris­cel Mina tak­ing top hon­ors at the Postal Air Ri­fle Match, in­clud­ing high­est score for girls (365), high scorer – dual match (365) and the girl’s team vic­tory (1,312).

Mina, one of only two re­turn­ing team mem­bers, is ex­cited about the growth of the team.

“It is re­ally good to have more stu­dents come out for air ri­flery,” she said. “It is great that we have enough girls so we also can com­pete on team points.”

Coach David War­man said the se­nior lead­er­ship of Mina and co-cap­tain Sonja Laus­terer has been an im­por­tant and on­go­ing step, in the team’s fu­ture suc­cesses.

“They are the ones that the team will look up to. Not only will the new mem­bers look to them as team co-cap­tains, but as lead­ers with ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Laus­terer leads the over­all air ri­fle team points for Wa­ialua High School with 970 in three recorded matches.

The day was more than a celebration of girl power as the boys also won their team match with 1,023 points.

Fresh­man and boys team cap­tain Aezar Cu­ram­meng led the way with a high score of 321 points. Cu­ram­meng is the sea­son points leader for the boys with 664 points in three matches.

But re­gard­less of the re­sults, it’s the ca­ma­raderie and ex­pe­ri­ence that mat­ters most, said War­man.

“It’s all about hav­ing fun, just go out there and do your best, but re­mem­ber­ing safety is a pri­or­ity.”

The Wa­ialua boys ri­flery team mem­bers are Cu­ram­meng, Elijah Cornwell, Regi­nald Atc­hazo, Nathan Jay Bala, Mar­cus Pao, Jesse Di­cion and John Vil­lanueva.

The girls are rep­re­sented by Laus­terer, Mina, Maria Gar­cia, Natalie Koch, Chalseah Shane A. Pas­cua and Ch­eryl Crabb.

Aezar Cu­ram­meng, Maria Gar­cia, Natalie Koch, Jesse Di­cion, Sonja Laus­terer, Regi­nald Atc­hazo and Nathan Jay Bala take aim at their tar­gets. Pho­tos from Jonathan Knox.

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