Bennett Barron Korenoski “Top Shots” @ WVU Open

The Campus of West Virginia University was the scene of the “Mountaineer Open” Rifle Competition in March and 7 members of our team returned to, Wild and Wonderful, WVU once again. Last fall they made the same trip for the University’s Air Rifle competition.

TheMountaineer Open” is a Smallbore and Air Rifle match, held at the Bill McKenzie Rifle range, located near the WVU Coliseum. The event attracted some of the finest shooters from all over the map. Given it was a National Ranking points event, for USA Shooting, it drew a large audience from around the country.

For our Jerome Jr. Rifle Team (JJRT) Statistics and Records, we rank our “Top Three” shooters in every USA Shooting event.

In the Smallbore match, Ruby Korenoski was in First Place of the “Top Three” with a score of # 572-25x. This was a “Personal Best” for her and is a notable performance at a nationwide competition like this.

Ruby, a former Conemaugh Indian, also shot a perfect “100” in the prone position in Smallbore. That’s ten bulls-eyes in a row, a difficult feat to accomplish. Only one other member on the Jerome squad , Zach Tedrow of North Star, fired a perfect 100 in prone. He shot that target during one of his N.S. High School matches earlier this year.

Zach, above in the kneeling position, was presented with the “100-Prone Award” by his Coach at the North Star Rifle Banquet a few weeks ago.

Our Second Place winner in Smallbore was Emily Bennett, she is also a member of the Bishop Carroll Rifle Team. Emily, the B.C. Huskie, shot her “Personal Best” score of a # 566-13x. Keeping calm enough to fire a PB under the bright lights of a college competition is remarkable. We know this Huskie is a Cool Customer.

Elissa Barron, a North Star Rifle Team “Shooting Star” captured our team’s Third Place with a score of #563-23x. Elissa was also honored at her N.S. Rifle banquet where she was presented with three awards, but that’s for another photo/story to come.

There was no surprise when, in the Air Rifle competition, our Top Three were the same shooters just in a different ranking. Emily Bennett shot another personal best score, #605.3 for a First Place finish. In Second Place, Elissa shot a #601.4, and Ruby came in Third with a #599.1, for her Personal Best in Air Rifle.

Emily, and her Dad, Steve, along with Coach Barry Rininger were all smiles when Emily had her total score posted on the big screen. Great shooting Emily!

That #605.3 is a great score in the Air Rifle competition, now Emily will now have a new PB record to shoot for.

Elissa is a Great Air Rifle marksman and in her honor…somehow she made it on the Big Screen WVU Sign post outside the facility? How’d that happen?

Ruby was pretty proud of her PB #572-25x in Smallbore and this was a great way to round out her Senior Year of rifle competitions. Ruby also had a successful showing at her High School Awards Banquet, more info on the Awards of our JJRT members in the next post.

Congratulations to all our JJRT competitors for this full day of top notch shooting. Noah, Lydia and Nicole were all trying for their own PB scores at this all day match.

Our JJRT group was in competition with riflemen from 4 different colleges and dozens of Juniors representing, PA, VA, NJ, OH, NY, TN, and NC. Some drove in from far away states, like Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida.

From the car license plates, in the parking lots, there were riflemen from all over the USA in attendance. In total, 156 rifle marksmen participated in this week-end long event.

WVU Coach Jon Hammond said, “This is an open event, and we had competitors registered from those in their teens to a handful of adult competitors. In addition, professionals such as the Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU), from US Army Garrison Fort Benning, GA, were shooting at our match. Many college shooters join the Army and the AMU in order to keep competing at a national level”.

Entering the massive Rifle facility can be an awe inspiring moment for any shooter new to this college level scene. This is a time when the experiences these kids have of participating in their High School Finals, Prone matches, and PA State Jr. Olympics, all comes together to help calm the butterflies of a high stakes competition.

The Mountaineer Headquarters and Range is Home to one of the country’s most tradition-rich programs, the WVU rifle range is a reflection of the long-term success enjoyed by the 19-time National Champion Mountaineers.

The range is highlighted by the presence of 10 MEGAlink electronic scoring systems, the most up-to-date system used by some of the country’s proficient shooters.

This includes two-time Olympian and current WVU coach Jon Hammond, 2016 Rio Olympic Gold Medalist Ginny Thrasher and 2012 London Olympics men’s 50m 3 positions Gold medalist Nicco Campriani.

WVU Head Coach, Jon Hammond and JJRT Head Coach, Barry Rininger discussing advantages of the MEGAlink electronic scoring system.

The JJRT will return to the “Mountaineer Open” next year for another chance at improving on their “Personal Best” scores. The following shots are documentation for those who try to escape the official JJRT photographer.

A Big Thank You! to Steve Bennett for taking over cameraman duties to record this hard to obtain pose of me and my wife, Mary Ann, and our Rifle Girl, Ruby. Good shooting Steve, Emily has taught you well.