U.S. Coast Guard Academy Takes SSC Collegiate Spring Shooting Championship
05/14/2011

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy shooting team won the inaugural Scholastic Steel Challenge Collegiate Spring Championship.

Online PR News – 14-May-2011 – – EAST GRANBY, Conn. – The motto of the U.S. Coast Guard is 'Semper Paratus' which means 'Always Ready' and that's exactly what the cadets of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy were when they took on, and beat, the University of Vermont, Harvard University, Yale University and a squad from Wayland High School to claim the first Scholastic Steel Challenge Collegiate Spring Championship.

The cadets outpaced second place UVM by 79.52 seconds with a final winning time of 363.15 seconds. Cadet Barton Nanney led the team, finishing first overall with a time of 79.46 seconds and a stage win on both Speed Option and Roundabout. Finishing second overall was Cadet Alex Webber with 89.67seconds followed by Cadet Jake Naum, fourth place overall, with 96.22 seconds. Cadet Jon Sapundjieff, who took top honors on Five to Go finished fifth overall with 97.80 seconds.

“The U.S. Coast Guard Academy's Combat Arms Team put in an outstanding performance at the Collegiate Spring Championship. As SSC expands at the collegiate level, the cadets are likely to remain at, or near, the top of each match if this weekend's shooting is any indication,” said Scott Moore, director of the Scholastic Steel Challenge.

The University of Vermont's Shooting Sports Club finished second with a combined team time of 442.67 seconds, led by Jeffrey Hammersmith who finished seventh overall with 99.27 seconds. Chris Stecyk placed eighth overall with 99.40 seconds while William Cain and Takeshi Horiguchi finished 10th and 11th overall with times of 116.44 and 127.56 seconds respectively.

The only non-collegiate team competing in the match finished third. Made up of students from Massachusetts' Wayland High School, the squad posted a final time of 458.88, just 16.21 seconds behind Vermont.

Jesse Goddard, who finished third overall in the match with a time of 91.75 seconds, led the Wayland shooters. Helping propel Wayland into third was John Monahan who took top honors on Smoke & Hope, the only stage the Coast Guard Academy cadets did not win, and finished sixth overall with 98.37 seconds. Will Gunshenan and Derek Kaufman rounded out the Wayland effort with 130.35 and 138.41 seconds each.

Harvard's team, which included shooters who had little or no experience with pistol shooting, finished fourth with a team time of 690.51 seconds. Alvin Siu led the Harvard squad with a final time of 136.78 seconds followed by Kip Christianson with 157.39 seconds, William Marks with 180.53 seconds and Lila Nieves-Lee with 215.81 seconds.

The Yale squad, which also featured shooters with limited pistol experience but, like Harvard, unlimited enthusiasm, took fifth with a team time of 717.23 seconds. Brian Lee led the Yale effort by finishing ninth overall with a time of 108.38 seconds. Lee was followed by Edward Paulino with 165.37 seconds, Justin Hart with 211.83 seconds and Dan Bersak with a match time of 231.65 seconds.

Held at the Hartford Gun Club and hosted by firearms make Smith & Wesson, the Scholastic Steel Challenge Collegiate Spring Championship marks the program's expansion to the collegiate level.

The next major collegiate event on the SSC schedule will be the Scholastic Steel Challenge Collegiate Fall Championship which will be hosted by Sig Sauer and take place at the Sig Sauer Academy located in Epping, N.H.

The Scholastic Steel Challenge is a national team-oriented youth shooting program developed by the Steel Challenge Shooting Association and funded in part by a grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The program is open to young men and women ages 12 to 20 and offers them the opportunity to compete as a four person team for a national title in the action pistol discipline of speed shooting.

From the beginning, industry support for the Scholastic Steel Challenge has been strong with the program picking up sponsorship from Action Target, Atlanta Arms & Ammo, Brownells, Glock, GT Target Stands, MGM Targets, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Outdoor Wire Digital Network, Precision Delta, Safariland, Smith & Wesson, Winchester Ammunition and the Youth Shooting Sports Alliance.

For more information on the Scholastic Steel Challenge and the Steel Challenge Shooting Association, visit http://steelchallenge.com/, follow @ScholasticSteel or @SteelChallenge on Twitter, find the Steel Challenge on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SteelChallenge.