On target! - Hillel retain Inter-School shooting title as Lazarus and Miller impress
Zach Lazarus defeated his schoolmate, two-time defending champion and favourite Roman Tavares-Finson, as well as American International School of Kingston (AISK) shooting ace Danzell Knight, in a three-way super six shoot-off for the ATL Automotive Group Inter-Schools Sporting Clays Challenge overall title at the Jamaica Skeet Club on Sunday.
Lazarus, who was joint second in the Junior A category, with a score of 48, two behind Knight and Ardenne's David Wong, who topped the section with 50, surprisingly outshot the two outstanding junior shooters and claimed the prize.
However, the talented shooter, who shared that he does not particularly train and only shoots for fun, says natural talent prevailed.
"I feel elated about winning, and I hope I can come back next year and execute the same way. But, to be honest, I don't train, I just come out and shoot sometimes and take two pointers from my father and uncle Khaleel (Azan), and that's it. Natural talent always defeats practising," he stated.
Lazarus ended the super six shoot-off tied with Tavares-Finson and Knight on 64. However, the Hillel student was the most proficient in the three-way shoot-off, hitting six of eight birds, compared to his rivals, who got five each from eight, to top the shoot-off with a score of 70. Tavares-Finson beat Knight in the shoot-off for second place.
Meanwhile, Hillel Academy retained their team title with a two-point win over AISK. Lazarus, Tavares-Finson and captain Cameron Phang-Sang combined for a score of 143, two more than the combined total of 141 by Knight, Peter Mahfood, and Mark Desnoes.
Campion College finished third with Nathan Chin, Richard Todd and Jonah Subaran totalling a score of 140.
Hillel Academy captain Phang-Sang paid credit to the growth of the tournament, pointing to the increased quality of the competition.
"We work together, put in the training, and it feels good to do all that work and see it bear fruit. But every year, it gets tougher and tougher, and this year we only won by two points from AISK, so the competition gets tighter each year. But we have good, dedicated shooters, so we will defend the title again," said Phang-Sang.
In the Junior B category, Nathan Chin was top shooter with 47. Brandon Anderson claimed the Junior C prize with 31. The Sub-Junior A honours went to Wong, Sub-Junior B to Thomas Gore (40), sub-junior C to Justyn Clarke (42) and Sub-Junior D to Kyle Read (40).
Savannah Miller from St Andrew High School for Girls captured the Girls A crown with 42, while the Girls B title went to Hillel's Sydney Muschett with 41.