Members of the Newberry Junior Pistol Club traveled to Charleston on Dec. 2 to compete in the S.C. State Junior Olympic Pistol Championship that was held Dec. 1 and 2 at The Citadel.
The competition consisted of international air pistol and 22 caliber sport pistol.
The local shooters turned in an outstanding performance.
The age of the competitors ranged from 12 to 19 years old, with the Newberry shooters being the youngest competitors there.
In the ladies division Carrie Haltiwanger, at age 12 the youngest competitor in the competition, shot a personal best and took gold in both international air pistol and 22 caliber sport pistol.
By being the top state finisher in the ladies category, she earned an automatic invitation to the U.S. National Junior Olympic Pistol Championship at Colorado Springs in April.
Haltiwanger’s teammate Brianna Kinard finished a close second, only three points behind, to take silver in international air pistol.
In the mens division Sean Blanton put forth an outstanding performance shooting a personal best to take silver in international air pistol. His strong performance in 22 caliber sport pistol was enough to earn him silver also.
Blanton and Kinard are both looking forward to invitations to the U.S. National Junior Olympic Pistol Championship also, but they will have to wait until the regular invitations are announced in January and February to see if they make the list.
Newberry Junior Pistol Coach Ben Blanton is very proud of all of his shooters and their dedication to the shooting sports.
The club would like to extend special thanks to The Friends of National Rifle Association Foundation and Gun Owners of S.C. for their financial support, without which this program would not be available.
Any junior shooter ages 8 to 19 that are interested in participating in the Newberry Junior Pistol Club may contact head coach Ben Blanton at 924-4694.