Record-Setting Performance From Gibson at JROTC National Air Rifle Championship

by
posted on March 28, 2018
jrotc_gibsonfinals.jpg

Seventeen year old Taylor Gibson of Oregon’s North Salem Vikings Army JROTC, returned to the JROTC 3-P Air Rifle National Championship at Camp Perry in March with an abundance of aspirations in her mind—ready to defend the precision title she earned last year and repeat her record-setting performance.

In 2017, Gibson fired a new Army JROTC National Record 3x20 score of 597-48X. This year, she came only one center shot away from tying that score on the last day of qualifying competition. With only the finals left to fire in her 2018 showing, she set her sights on a new goal—an overall score of 700 for the day.

After starting out a little shaky in the final with two nine shots, she picked herself up and fired seven straight pellets through the black—ending just shy of her goal with a score of 699.9.

“I was really striving to get that 700,” she said. “It was still really exciting and still super fun—but I was so close! Next year, I’ll do it.”

Her overall two-day aggregate score of 1293.1 was enough to surpass her peers by more than 10 points—giving her the championship title for the second year in a row. The victory was the satisfying end result of a year full of self-discipline—both physically and mentally—and keeping herself set to an objective she was sure she could reach with concentration and determination.

“I wanted to do the same thing I did last year,” said Gibson. “I wanted to have two consecutive years of winning, so I was really focused—really trying hard to stay where I was from last year. I didn’t want to give up my title.”

After earning the runner-up position in 2015 and 2016, Gibson finally claimed the championship title in 2017. Next year she’ll return as a senior, looking to maintain her champion status for the third straight year.

JROTC Competitors Taylor Gibson and Emma Thompson
Taylor Gibson (left) and Emma Thompson also both won the American Legion National Championship in 2016.


Winning the 2018 sporter individual competition was 17 year old Emma Thompson of Freeport High School Navy JROTC from Illinois. A senior, Thompson was primed to win the event after suffering a bad cold at last year’s JROTC Nationals and landing just short of victory in the second place spot.

This year, Thompson secured a comfortable lead early in the competition and maintained her confidence throughout—claiming the championship title by a margin of more than 20 points above her competitors.

“I just tried to make it fun, make it strong—I came back prepared,” said Thompson. “I finished pretty well, in my average, and that’s all I can ask for my senior year. So, I think it went really well.”

Taylor and Gibson hug at 2018 JROTC National Air Rifle Championship
After the competition was over, Emma Thompson made sure to congratulate Taylor Gibson on her win.


After Day Two’s finals were completed, and the announcement of Gibson’s record-setting performance was made, a gleeful Thompson ran across the range to congratulate her friend on her win with a tight embrace. The two accomplished competitors have become close over the last three years, even competing together and winning the American Legion National Championship in 2016 in their respective classes. For their win, both girls had the opportunity to attend the American Legion’s National Convention in Cincinnati that same year.

“She’s amazing. I love this girl,” said Thompson with a beaming smile. “I’ll definitely track her down and keep up with her.”

In the future, Thompson plans to attend the University of Illinois to study aerospace engineering under a Navy ROTC scholarship.

Along with talented juniors taking home overall wins in the competition, over 35 Junior Distinguished Air Rifle Badges were awarded at the awards banquet, held this year at Kalahari in Sandusky, OH. Of those, 17 had earned their badges while competing in the National Championship.

Latest

Uspsamagazine 2024 1
Uspsamagazine 2024 1

Guide To Writing Better Practical Shooting Competition Articles

Do you want to write articles about competitive shooting sports like USPSA and Steel Challenge? Here are some tips to help you get published.

ISSF Lonato World Cup: Dania Vizzi Secures Women’s Skeet Silver Medal

Team USA shooter Dania Vizzi lands Women’s Skeet silver medal, with teammate Austen Smith claiming bronze at the 2024 ISSF Lonato World Cup, held in Lonato, Italy, Jun. 10-19, 2024.

Team Berger’s James Fox Wins Third Consecutive Washington State High Power Rifle Championship

James Fox makes it a three-peat after claiming victory at the 2024 Washington State High Power Rifle Championship in Puyallup, Wash., Jun. 1-2.

Review: XS Sights Fiber-Optic Sights For Glock Pistols

The new Glock fiber-optic sight kit from XS Sights has a wide rear notch and perfectly sized front sight with a green (or red) fiber-optic insert that’s easy to see, even in bright sunlight.

New: Federal Field & Range Gun Cases

Federal’s new Field & Range soft gun cases are now available for purchase.

NRA President Bob Barr To Speak At 2024 Daisy BB Gun Nationals Opening Ceremony

NRA President Bob Barr will be a special guest speaker at the opening ceremony of the 2024 Daisy BB Gun Nationals in Rogers, Ark., Jun. 30-Jul. 3.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Sports USA delivered to your inbox.