The JROTC Three-Position Service Championship series is one of the premier scholastic air rifle matches of the year for Junior ROTC cadets around the country. Each year, the annual sporter and precision air rifle competition, facilitated by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), regularly attracts hundreds of young high school athletes to the range.
But notably, in 2023, the event received the second highest participation over its 17-year history, with 875 athletes overall – only surpassed by the 2016 match, which saw 890.
“It was great to see the turnout for the 2023 JROTC Service Championships,” said CMP’s Brad Donoho, JROTC Match Director.
“If not for some last-minute weather-related cancellations, this year would have had the best turnout ever,” he went on. “To see the participation bounce back like it has after COVID disrupted everything speaks volumes to the health of JROTC marksmanship.”
The JROTC Air Rifle Service Championship is a 3×20 air rifle competition, where competitors fire 20 record shots from three positions: prone, standing and kneeling. The 2023 regional Service Championships were held in three locations (Utah, Alabama and Ohio) over the weekends of Feb. 2-4 and Feb. 9-11. Both individual and team awards were presented. Top scorers overall will move on to the National Championship, set to be held at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center at Camp Perry, Ohio, March 23-25.
Earning the top spot amongst Army JROTC sporter individual athletes in the JROTC Service Championships was Jose Gonzalez, 17, of North Brunswick High School in North Carolina, with a score of 1193-39X. Gonzalez narrowly claimed the highest score – clearing the title only by x-count. Leading precision by just one point over the second place finisher was Liv Lusky, 17, of Lumpkin County High School in Georgia, with 1282-73X.
Coinciding with the individual event was the four-person team match for both sporter and precision in each service branch. Army’s top sporter team was Webb City High School from Missouri, leading by 40 points over the second place team, while the precision contest was led by Ansbach High School, AE.
In Navy competition, Danjela DeJesus, 17, of Camden County High School in Georgia fired an impressive score of 1290-91X to lead the precision competition. Brianna Benedetto, 16, of Zion Benton High School in Illinois, reached 1183-32X for the overall score in the sporter match.
DeJesus’s Camden County was the leading precision team in the Navy event, as Pascagoula High School from Mississippi earned the top sporter spot.
Samantha Zermeno, 18, of Nation Ford High School in South Carolina, fired a score of 1218-49X to overtake the Marine Corps sporter competition, as Granbury High School’s (Texas) Caroline Martin, 18, led the Marine Corps precision event by a margin of 15 points, with a total score of 1295-104X.
Nation Ford and Granbury were also the leading Marine Corps sporter and precision teams, respectively.
The Air Force competition saw Charles Bratton II, 18, of Clover High School in South Carolina, accumulating a score of 1196-40X to take a commanding 24-point lead in sporter match, with Chloe Shannon, 17, of Union High School in Oklahoma earning the top score by nearly 30 points in the precision event after obtaining a score of 1271-80X overall. Bratton’s Clover High School went on to claim the overall spot in the sporter team match by nearly 50 points. The overseas Alconbury High School led the precision team event by a smaller margin of only four points.
Find a complete list of results of the JROTC Service Championships, including top scorers from each location, on the CMP’s Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/2023JROTCServiceResults. View a list of National JROTC Championship Selections at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vTlWdASvoOBxiCU7CfrwnnkMS5fyKW1WD3RPAOpyCcqHXYfKjtHB-SNXnFTDAXI9SsniQQd8ukqeSLg/pubhtml#.
More info on the JROTC Air Rifle Championships can be found on the CMP website at https://thecmp.org/youth/jrotc/. Photos from all locations are available for free viewing and downloading at https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/f967656369.
— By Ashley Dugan, CMP Staff Writer
The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.