Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Shooters Season Wrap-up, Head to Nationals


The Hellgate Civilian Shooters are gunning for the National title this June. Head Coach Trace Weisenburger said it has been a good season with continued improvements.

Shooters just returned from the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Seeley Lake shooters Ibby Lorentz and Sam Weisenburger and Missoula’s Libby Diller competed in 10m Air Rifle as well as Jonna Warnken, of Superior, in 50m Three Position small bore. Jonna received her invite after being named the small bore state champion.

On Day 1 April 17, Ibby set a personal record with a score of 618.8 and was placed 10th out of 183 for women’s air rifle in her division. The top eight were either collegiate or already on the national team.

“Ibby’s accomplishments were huge. Out of the 900 shooters [that shot to compete and only the top 170 in her division were invited], she was 10th,” said Weisenburger.

Ibby finished Day 2 in 31st place.

It was Libby and Sam’s first time shooting at the Junior Olympics. Sam placed 139 of 171 with a score of 1164.7 on April 8. He was one of two competitors from Montana. Libby placed 174 out of 183 with her overall score of 1165.7 on April 18.

Jonna placed 38 out of 68 for both days in the small bore. She was the only Montanan to compete.

Weisenburger said while Libby, Sam and Jonna shot well, these were not personal records. However, “just to get accepted was big.”

During the first week in April, the rest of the Hellgate Civilian Shooters went to the Regional Competition in Sandy, Utah. Jonna, Libby, Jack Seibly and Berit Bedord took second as a team.

“All the boys had to be at junior Olympics so the competition was minimal,” said Weisenburger. “This was our B team and they did very well.”

In addition to their success at Regionals and at the Junior Olympics, the Hellgate Civilian Shooters placed second in the United States out of 94 teams in the American Legion postal match. The team included Sam, Alex, Jonna and Ibby. They scored 2340 out of 2400 points possible.

Jonna and Ibby are ranked second and third in the top 15 spots to shoot as individuals at the American Legion National Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo. at the end of July. Lorentz placed third in the 2016 American Legion competition.

The team will also be sending seven shooters to Nationals June 24-26. Ibby, Jonna, Sam, Libby, Alex Weisenburger, Berit and Jack will be shooting as a four person team and three individuals.

“We are very close to trying to win the National Championship,” said Weisenburger. “If all four of our kids shoot what they have shot before in competition we will win the Nationals. This could be a huge thing.”


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