Record-setting ATL Sporting Clays challenge


Record-setting ATL Sporting Clays challenge

Thursday, December 05, 2019

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Campion College dethroned Hillel Academy to post their first win at this year's ATL Automotive Inter Schools Sporting Clays Challenge, while Savannah Miller became the first female to qualify for the Super Six shoot-off.

J J Ralston was the highest overall winner while Zaniel Knight, and Rajir DaCosta were the first and second runners-up, respectively.

The event was held on Sunday at Jamaica Skeet Club in Portmore.

The shooters began arriving from very early for the 10:00 am opening ceremony after which they went straight to their stations for the shotgun start of the premier junior sporting clays schools championship.

At the end of the main event or 50-bird shoot, seven competitors qualified for the Super Six shoot-off where the shooters with the top six scores had to take on another 18 targets from three stations. The seven shooters were J J Ralston with 48, and Jordan Vaz with 48, Danzell Knight with 47, Rajir DaCosta 47, Savannah Miller 47, Storm Williams 45, and Bradley Wright 45.

The shooters entered the first station in the ascending order based on their scores in the main event. Four shooters posted perfect six-from-six, which resulted in a slight change in the shooting order, while Ralston and Vaz with 54 each, maintained the top spot.

They then moved to the second station to shoot another six birds. Three shooters shot a perfect six-from-six, while DaCosta became the sole leader with 59 points.

The third station was quite nerve-racking as no shooter shot a perfect score this time. Ralston shot five-from-six to share the lead with Zaniel Knight on 63 each. This meant that they had to engage in another shoot-off to determine the overall winner. They both shot five-from-six to tie on 68. This led to a fifth round shoot-off where Ralston shot five-from-six for a total score of 73. The pressure was now on Knight, but he got three-from-six to end on 71 to grab the first runner-up spot. Rajir DaCosta on 62 was the second runner-up.

Ralston was very happy with the win. “I am very proud of myself and I think I did really good. The competition was really tough in the Super Six. I liked all the birds, especially when it was me and Zaniel shooting off. It was very tough, my mental game was very strong and I am very proud of myself for winning.”

Girls A Class shooter Savannah Miller successfully defended her title while creating history by being the first girl to qualify for the Super Six. Her score of 61 at the end of the Super Six put her in fourth place overall.

Miller was pleased with winning the girls' section as well as being the first girl to qualify for the Super Six.

“I am really proud of myself to have achieved this. The first interview I had I actually mentioned that I really wanted to be in Super Six but coming into it I was actually kind of nervous. I didn't want to do it, I wanted to just go home and study my books or something but actually doing it, I am really proud of myself for doing it and I think it was a really good experience,” she said.

Campion were declared the champion school after amassing 140 points on the back of Jordan Vaz 48, Zaniel Knight 47, and Bradley Wright and Storm Williams 45. Second placed Hillel totalled 139 from J J Ralston 48, Rajir DaCosta 47, and Cameron Phang Sang 44. Jamaica College were third with 121 points from J P Dipchand 44, Todd Reynolds 44, and Luke Elliott 33.

Captain of the Campion College team A J Nakash said, “It feels really good and I am incredibly proud of the whole team. We didn't know that we were going to have as many members today as we did because our exams start tomorrow, so many people stayed home to study. When we saw the turnout this morning I know we could do something special.”

He thinks Campion can defend the championship when it returns next year.

Hillel won all previous championships since the inter schools' challenge began in 2011. This is ATL's third sponsorship of the event.

The nine-school competition included one new entrant — Calabar High. The other schools were AISK, Ardenne, Campion, Creative Kids, Hillel, Immanuel Christian Academy, Jamaica College, and St Andrew High.

President of the Jamaica Skeet Club Jordan Samuda expressed pleasure with the event. “Great, great day. A great turnout. We had hoped for a larger turnout, but we are in the middle of exams season for many of our juniors. Overall it was a great turnout. The competitiveness of our juniors increases every day, also our ladies are doing very well. The girls are doing fantastic. We have one of our girls for the first time — Savannah Miller — making it into our Super Six, shooting a 47 out of 50. The overall competitiveness continues to increase and our juniors are really performing at a very, very high level.”

He commended Campion College for winning the schools' section over Hillel for first time. He also had high praises for all the shooters who did well in the tournament, while making special mention of Calabar who were entering for the first time.

The top three shooters in the various classes were:

Junior A: J J Ralston - 48, JP Dipchand - 44 (LR), and David Wong - 44 (LR)

Junior B: Jordan Vaz - 48, Rajir DaCosta - 47 (LR), and Zaniel Knight - 47 (LR)

Junior C: Storm Williams - 45, Todd Reynolds - 44 (LR), and Greddie Farquharson - 44 (LR)

Girls A: Savannah Miller - 47, Abigail McMaster - 43, and Neesa DaCosta - 39

Girls B: Rachel Azan - 45, Aliana McMaster - 43, and Abigail Miller - 41

Sub Junior A: Nicholas Debous - 43, Kyle Read - 42, and Noah Azan - 38

Sub Junior B: Alexander Clarke - 42, Adrian Barnes - 40 (LR), and Kyle McConnell - 40 (LR)

The sponsors were ATL Automotive Group, Best Dressed Chicken, Bigga, Reggae Jammins, St Mary's Banana, Tin Grinners Club Jamaica, True Juice, WATA, and Arts & Photo Impressions.

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