The Walla Walla High School JROTC WAHI Rifle Team topped 37 teams from around the country to win the Junior Olympic Three Position Air Rifle National Title.
The Walla Walla High School team of Cadet Captain Caitlyn Lasseigne, Cadet Staff Sergeant Sarah Jameson, Cadet Staff Sergeant Allison Juergensen and Cadet Staff Sergeant Andrew Jenkins defeated last year's national championship team Sutter Union High School of California in the competition's final round. The event was held in Anniston, AL.
"This was the pinnacle of our team shooting this season," said Wa-Hi JROTC Rifle Coach Sergeant First Class Mark Mebes. "This event featured the best teams we have ever competed against, including a lot of nationally ranked shooters."
Walla Walla High School's winning score of 2330 out of 2400 clinched the national title by three points over the next closest team. The team performance Saturday included personal best scores for three of the team's shooters, including the team high score set by Cadet Staff Sergeant Sarah Jameson shooting a 591 out of 600.
"A year ago, I didn't think a 591 was possible." said Jameson. "I think we all learned that we are capable of much more than we thought."
Wa-Hi beat teams who have 40-60 precision shooters vying for the top four team spots. Jameson's score placed her 5th individually in the match, earning her an individual medal as well. Walla Walla High School last claimed a national championship rifle title in 1928.
Cadet Captain Lasseigne and Cadet Staff Sergeant Allison Juergensen became the second and third shooters in WAHI history to earn the National Junior Distinguished Shooter's Badge, an honor that has been bestowed on less than 600 shooters nationwide in the 25 years that the program has been in existence.
"That National Championship Plaque still hangs in our rifle range today," said Mebes "These kids look up at it every time they sit in my classroom, they learn about the names on it, we even have a copy of an old newspaper clipping from when they won it. I told my shooters today that someday, cadets will be memorizing your names."