On August 26, Kaiser’s Air Riflery team showcased their shooting skills for the first time this season at the Kaiser vs. Kaimuki competition. During the competition held at Kaiser, the team kicked off their season with a win from both the boys and girls teams. The game ended with personal bests from several team members. Top scorer on the girls team, junior Taylor Dunaway, finished with a personal best of 525 points. On the boys side, top scorer Landon Murai finished with a personal best of 494 points. Seven other players on the girls team contributed to their final score of 1,942 points and five other players on the boys team contributed to their score of 1,913.
To prepare for future competitions, the team has been practicing Monday through Friday for three hours everyday. Practicing everyday is important because all players have weak spots that may affect their performances at meets. “Going to practice regularly can help you get better in the positions you’re bad at,” said sophomore Jared Bahng. “Getting good at all the positions can help you get better scores for competitions.”
Sophomore Kryn Valenti agrees that practice helps improve the skills she struggles with. “I can take a long time to make one shot because I’m not steady, this sometimes makes me feel rushed in meets because we only have a set amount of time to shoot every target,” she said. Valenti said that by attending practices more frequently, the coaches could pinpoint her weaknesses. This in turn, enabled her to improve her weaknesses, which increased her competition scores. “My coaches tell me [to] always focus on the next shot because you can’t do anything about the last one,” she said.
The team is working hard to improve their scores and do well at competitions. But members of the air riflery team are not only serious individual competitors – they push each other to do well and support each other in practice and at competitions. This has brought the team together into a close-knit group. Valenti says she met many interesting people when she first joined the team. “It feels like a family because the coaches and the teammates all support each other,” she said.