PHOENIX — The Tombstone High School JROTC air rifle team won a state shooting competition on Saturday at the Ben Avery Shooting Range in Phoenix.

As a team, the Tombstone Yellow Jackets shot a 2,145, the school’s best score ever, Yellow Jacket Battalion JROTC Army instructor Thomas Gross said.

Team member Abigail Uterhardt, a senior, was the state’s top shooter with a score of 547, followed by Xavier Keeling, a junior who finished second in the state with 539. Ian Panighetti, a sophomore, finished fifth with 530 and senior Jadan Olson was sixth with 539.

Flowing Wells High School, considered by Tombstone as “the team to beat,” finished a distant second behind the Yellow Jackets, Gross said.

On Dec. 8, the Yellow Jacket team won a regional competition at Flowing Wells, defeating that team for the first time in that match. Saturday’s win marks Tombstone’s first state championship.

“Everything came together for us, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Gross said.

The Yellow Jacket team is going to Fort Benning, Georgia, later this month — from Jan. 24-26 — for a national competition hosted by the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.

Tombstone’s air rifle team competed in the CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) at Camp Perry, Ohio, last summer, and finished in the top 20 out of more than 80 teams from all over the country.

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