West Seattle Totems
Ten members of the West Seattle Totems air rifle team took part in the national championships in Ohio recently. Alec Patajo came home with first place honors and will go on to the American Legion National Championships at the end of July.

Alec Patajo wins National Air Rifle Championship as West Seattle Totems compete

By Joe Matter

The West Seattle Totems recently returned from their trip to the National Air Rifle Championships. Ten members of the team travelled to Camp Perry Ohio which is the home of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). The CMP hosted two national championships: The Junior Olympic 3 Position Air Rifle Championships and the CMP National 3 Position Air Rifle Championships.

Each Championship consists of a 60 shot qualification process and a final. Team scores are computed using the qualification score. Those individuals who finish in the top 8., compete in a 10 shot final. The scores from the final are added to the qualification score to determine the final placing.

The first competition was the Junior Olympic Championships. The Thunderbird squad of Alec Patajo, Corinne Blair, Sierra Avril, Casey iwamoto and Tanner Venturi finished in 8th place. The Chiefs squad of Katelynn Bacon, Katelynn Brown, Owen Yeasting, Nick Young and Vic Yeasting finished in 36th place. Alec finished in 5th place after the qualification round. Alec shot well in the final and finished in 4th place after the final was completed. This was Alec's first national final.

The second day of competition was the CMP National Championships. The Thunderbirds improved their scores on the second day and finished in 7th place. the Chiefs finished in 35th place. Alec won the qualification round shooting a 595 out of 600 points. He went into the final with a 2 point lead over the previous days National Champion Sarah Osborne, who has won 6 national championships in the last 2 years.

Alec shot well, but Sarah started closing the distance. By shot number 7, Alec's 2 point lead was down to 1/10 of a point. Alec 8th shot was critical and he shot a perfect 10.9 while Sarah shot a 10.6. The 9th shot, Alec widened his lead back to a full point and in the 10th and final shot he finished with a 1.7 point lead and won the CMP National Championship.

Alec will be competing in the American Legion National Championships at the end of July. The American Legion match will be held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The rest of the Totems will be back in competition this fall.

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