The Valley Stream District Rifle Team capped off an undefeated winter season, winning another county championship at Glen Cove High School on February 15.
With a team score of 773 out of 800, Valley Stream took first place by a slim 4 points, squeaking to victory over the Sewanhaka District team. Junior and upcoming team captain Priya Mangal took second place overall with 186 out of 200.
During the competition, each athlete had to point their rifle at two targets, each with ten targets, according to coach Heather Zawislak. Athletes have 29 minutes to complete all 20 moves for a maximum score of 200.
Usually, six athletes compete per match. Of these six, the team score is determined by the average of the top four individual scores for a maximum team score of 800.
Captains Nick Cavaliere and Ivan Ymaz along with college teammates Victoria Andreo, Emily Nothdurft and Tiffany Wu and Keegan Banda also competed throughout the season and contributed to the team’s undefeated status.
“The highlight for me was seeing the young and new athletes – ninth and tenth graders – with no or very little experience coming in and being skilled and talented enough to compete in varsity games,” Zawislak said. “It’s very unusual… but it’s great to see so much potential for the future.”
The next athletes to watch for next season, according to Zawislak, are Innaya Ilyas, Shahid Khan and Adam Bacchus, who also competed throughout the season at the junior varsity level and who will no doubt move on to varsity when the 2022-23 season. .
While Covid regulations have posed many challenges for athletes over the past two years – limiting the team’s interactions with other competing schools and cutting training time – Zawislak said this season was much less stressful.
“It wasn’t that bad because this year they were able to have an in-person competition and go to other shooting ranges at other schools. They just had to wear their masks and keep social distancing, but that felt more normal…” she said. “They are a remarkably skilled team and I can’t wait to see what they are capable of in the coming seasons. They make me incredibly proud to be their coach.