Students qualified in OIA championships for air riflery

Pauline Yang, reporter

Steady, aim, shoot! On October 15th, 2011, Kate Navarro (12) qualified to compete in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Individual State Championship, held at Pearl City High School for air riflery. By her side were Darlene Cardenas-Tseu (12), Angela Gao (12), and Jayna Wong (12).

All have worked hard in coming this far and ending the season of this sport. The state championship for air riflery was held on October 25, 2011 at the Neal Blaisdell Center. Many schools participated in the competition which included Pearl City, Sacred Hearts, and Punahou.

Navarro was nervous because many participants came from all over and she was against “good female shooters that have more experience” than her. What made it even more intimidating for her was the clothing.

“All shooters that I’ve seen looked like professional shooters because they were packed with shooting gear, while I had only basic gear (rifle, binoculars, mat, tiny folding chair),” said Navarro.

Regardless of this, she still put all her mind and concentration into her shots. She placed 29 out of 42 females. Navarro was hoping to place higher, but she is still proud of what she accomplished. She has improved a lot since junior year.

“It was a great opportunity to make it to the state championships in my second year of joining air riflery,” said Navarro.

Air riflery is a mind sport. It takes a lot of concentration and patience. Patience is required because you cannot get the precise shot right away. You have to take your time and be careful. While shooting, you must also control your breathing and be calm in order for your body to be steady.

Air riflery is also known to be the “leading GPA out of any sport,” said Nick Haigler, Navarro’s air riflery coach.

In air riflery, students and the coach just don’t come and play. Throughout the year, Haigler say they take an interesting, fun journey in making a non-contact sport into something where students grow together as a team.

“It’s nice to see them daily and talk to them rather than not just coach. Everyone has a positive attitude and we talk about life lessons too,” said Haigler.

Haigler says that he is “definitely proud” of Navarro’s achievement.

“You could tell she was skilled, but she would just shrug her shoulders. She doesn’t boast or brag. She didn’t show much emotion until states. Navarro has personally done her best and that’s all I can ask for. In the end she deserved qualifying for states.”

Those in other sports are able to have the same opportunity like Navarro.

“Believe in yourself, be dedicated, and show them our tiger power and spirit!” said Navarro.