Students involved with the Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps at Flowing Wells High School recently competed in a national competition, two of the students returned with first and second place.

Photo courtesy of Bob DeWitt

Earlier this year, students involved with the Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps at Flowing Wells High School went to compete in nationals. Two came back as first and second best in the nation at the national air rifle competition in Alabama.

Flowing Wells High School senior Alex Provine took first in the nation, with senior Tyler Rico finishing in second place. Paul Hurd and Wayne Smith also competed on the Flowing Wells’ team.

The team is coached by retired Maj. Bob DeWitt.

The competition was a two-day event where shooters took 20 shots from three positions: prone (lying down), kneeling and standing. Their targets were placed 33 feet away.

At the end of each day, there was a finalist round where the top eight shooters competed in an extra round. In this round, competitors also shot 10 rounds while standing. Competitors also fired each shot after they held their rifles aimed down range for 90 seconds.

“It doesn’t seem like a lot of time,” Provine said. “But for shooting, a minute and a half is quite a lot of time to hold your rifle up.”

The person with the top cumulative score from both events is the winner each day. At the end of both days, the overall score is weighted higher than the other shooting scores.

“Tyler and I were tied to the 10th of a point, but since they weighted it more on the overall score for the day, I ended up winning by four points,” Provine said.

Provine and Rico competed against 120 of the nation’s best shooters. The top possible score after the two-day competition was 1,200 points.

Provine, who started shooting on the team her sophomore year, is happy with her accomplishments but is quick to give credit to others. With the help of others, she took different aspects of how they shot into consideration, from kneeling positions to rifle gripping, she said.

“I’m really happy that my team supported me,” Provine said. “Everyone really came together. Everyone helped me realize what I needed to do to shoot my very best.”

Those who helped her included her teammate Rico and his father Cecil Rico.

“When she came onto the team my sophomore year, we definitely noticed she had the characteristics of a really good shooter and a champion,” Rico said. “We worked with her on her positions and stuff, and she put in the time in practice.”

Rico, who has been on the air rifle team at Flowing Wells almost the entire time he has been in school said they practiced an hour every morning, and then they shoot almost every day after school.

“We’re a real tight team,” Rico said. “We hang out at school and we always have gotten along really well. We are all there for each body to do well. If somebody beats you, that’s a good day because that means that person shot a good score and that is going to help the team score. We are not worried about individual scores when we are shooting. We all want the team to be the best.”

Provine plans to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point with the Army.

Rico plans to join the Air Force and eventually wants to fly A-10s.

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