The Juneau School District rifle team took on new challenges this season, seven to be exact.
The seven-member club, which includes Thunder Mountain and Juneau-Douglas: Yadaat.at Kalé high school students, joined Orion’s National Air Rifle League, a virtual league consisting of hundreds of teams that compete head-to-head in regularly scheduled matches.
Since the beginning of the season in September, the Juneau club has shot against seven different schools, compiling a 5-2 record that could qualify them for postseason matches next month.
“It just thrills me, it actually gets me very excited that they’re doing such a great job,” Juneau School District rifle team coach Dianne Zemanek said. “It makes me really proud of them.”
The Orion scoring system uses computer software and scanners to score specially designed paper targets. The sheets of paper are fed into a scanner that scores them using an advanced image processing algorithm, according to the company’s website.
JDHS sophomore Nikki Lahnum scored a team-high 258 in Juneau’s final regular season match. The Juneau team defeated Washburn Rural Air Force Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps squad out of Topeka, Kansas, 967-911.
It was Juneau’s fourth victory in five tries, having previously bested American Legion Post 113, Central York Air Force JROTC and Ben Davis Marine Corps JROTC.
The team score is based on its four highest-scoring shooters. In the case of last week’s win over Washburn, that meant Lahnum, Isabelle Hansen, Carter Walker and Nelson Abel’s scores all went into the total.
“Most of the people on our team are hunters and go hunting, so I feel like that was a big involvement of our successes,” Lahnum said.
This is the first year the club has joined the virtual league, Zemanek said.
“We’re really excited because it allows us to compete with schools all over,” Zemanek said.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.