Nation Ford High School Are The Sporter 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship Winners

Patience and hard work paid off for Nation Ford High School from South Carolina – they were 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship winners, having placed well each year since 2016. This national event features both sporter and precision junior air rifle athletes from around the country It was held at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, June 21-26.

The 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship winners have always performed well at Nationals, earning second place in the CMP event in 2016 and 2017. The team also found the runner-up position in the coinciding Junior Olympic National event in 2016, but went on to win the match in 2017.

Members of this team of 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship winners, which also won this year’s Junior Olympic event, were Kayla Kalenza, Deonte Hayes, Sarah Leininger and Nick Noto. Photo above. And it looks as if they were as pleased as the other winners with their performance!

Nation Ford High School Are The Sporter 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship Winners

The team of 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship winners is coached by Colonel Sean Mulcahey – as in previous years.

“As I thought about this year’s National Championships, CMP Nationals and the Junior Olympic Nationals, I was quite aware of the high level of competition they would draw,” Colonel Mulcahey said.

Colonel Mulcahey hasn’t changed his training philosophies or practice schedule for the past four years – sticking with what works by focusing on competition performance as if it were just another day on the range.

“If they approach a match as they do practice, the scores, points and titles will take care of themselves, he said. “What I strive to instill in my team members is to focus on being deliberate with each shot, follow their shot plan, expect a bad shot and have a plan to deal with it, and to fight for every shot – don’t give up no matter how poorly their performance is.”

Mulcahey also praised the many others who have helped the 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship winners reach their heights. These include the school’s Booster Club and, of course, the many dedicated community members.

He went on, “Regarding the 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship winners team members, I find them to be unselfish, dedicated and willing to place the team before their individual goals and desires. They have a great sense of humor. They like to tease each other. I enjoy being around them and feel a sincere sense of contributing to their shooting success.”

Nation Ford High School Are The Sporter 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship Winners

Following Nation Ford High School in the sporter team match was Zion Benton from Illinois, last year’s winning team, in second and Volunteer High School from Tennessee in third.

Also earning an exciting win in the sporter competition was Simon Krauthamer, 17, of CRPC Junior Program in North Carolina, who topped the individual competition with a score of 652.3 – only one-tenth above second place finisher Halie Creekmore, 14, of Zion Benton High School in Illinois. Linsey Kleckner, 17, of Freeport High School in Illinois, earned the third place spot with a score of 651.1.

The battle for the sporter win was tight during the Top 8 final that would ultimately determine the winner of the match. Krauthamer gave it his all but didn’t lead that entire time – at least, not until the last shot, when the leaders each fired a shot in the 7-ring, boosting him up to the top of the podium. That’s Simon, below.

Nation Ford High School Are The Sporter 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship Winners

In the precision event, 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship winners included Ryan Habeck, 18, of Dakota Sharpshooters in South Dakota. Ryan led the class with a score of 695.7. That was just two-tenths of a point over last year’s champion and this year’s Junior Olympic winner, Katie Zaun, 15, of Buffalo Sharpshooters in North Dakota. This year, Katie placed second.

Rounding out the Top 3 was Antonio Gross, 18, of Webster Junior Marksmen in New York, who earned his USA Shooting jacket back in 2016 during the National event as the top male competitor.

Winning precision teams were the Arlington Optimist Acorns CJRC Ice from Virginia, with a score of 2350-161x, Patriot Shooting Club, also of Virginia, trailed by only one point with 2349-155x for second, as the Ole Mill Rangers from GA took third with a score of 2346-157x.

Another notable presence during the week was Moira Antal (below), 14, of Bealeton, VA, who made her debut at the CMP National event as the first Paralympic competitor.

Nation Ford High School Are The Sporter 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship Winners

In addition to the thousands of dollars in monetary endowment awards provided to winning teams from MidwayUSA, the CMP provides $1,000 scholarships to the Top 3 highest scoring graduated seniors of the event. This year’s scholarship recipients were Kellen McAferty, Antonio Gross and Ryan Habeck for precision and Kaitlin Irvin, Simon Krauthamer and Emma Thompson for sporter. CMP also awarded the top eight individuals and top three teams cash awards.

The National Air Rifle Championship is a three-position event, where sporter and precision competitors fire two days of competition – the Junior Olympic Nationals, followed by the CMP Nationals.

Competitors fire qualifying scores each day, with the Top 8 competing in a final on the line to determine winners. The top male and female competitor over the two days also receive places on the USA Shooting junior team.

Earning spots this year were Katie Zaun and Kellen McAferty, 18, of Capitol City Junior Rifle Club in Washington. That’s Katie and Kellen below.

Nation Ford High School Are The Sporter 2018 CMP 3P Air Rifle Championship Winners


Junior Olympic Nationals Results:
National Junior Olympic Precision Individuals:
Katie Zaun, Buffalo Sharpshooters, ND – 697.2
Cassidy Wilson, Spokane JRC Gold, WA – 695.3
Sarah Lough, Mason Dixon Gold, WV – 694.2


National Junior Olympic Precision Teams:
Patriot Shooting Club, VA – 2345-162x
Ontelaunee Jr Rifle, PA – 2335-135x
Ware County #1, GA – 2333-138x


National Junior Olympic Sporter Individuals:
Jaden-Ann Fraser, Volunteer High School, TN – 658.2
Kylie Henninger, Canon City High School Army JROTC – 648.8
Simon Krauthamer, CRPC Junior Program, NC – 647.5


National Junior Olympic Sporter Teams:
Nation Ford High School, SC – 2189-75x
Zion Benton Team 1, IL – 2184-65x
Hays Rebels, TX – 2172-73x


For a complete list of results of the CMP National Three-Position Championship and the National Junior Olympic Championship, visit https://ct.thecmp.org/app/v1/index.php?do=match&task=edit&tab=results&match=17067&tab=results.

Photos of the event can be viewed and downloaded for free from the CMP Zenfolio page at http://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f279118263.