Lachlan Hey's selection into the Combined Athletic Association of Great Public Schools Rifle Shooting team was a highlight for The Armidale School at the recent AAGPS championships at Hornsby Rifle Range.
Shooting in the event for the third year, Hey particularly impressed in the 500m stage of the Rawson Cup, being the highest scorer of the 64 competitors from eight schools, with seven bullseyes including five V-Bulls.
"The conditions were just ideal this year, the sky was clear and there was no wind which also meant shooters were able to get through more quickly so we weren't shooting into the sun setting behind the targets as in other years," he said.
Hey's performance earned him selection in the GPS team, which due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions is a merit team only this year. Usually the team would compete in the Josephson Shield against under-25s shooters from district rifle associations and university teams but that competition has been cancelled.
"It's disappointing that we don't get to shoot together as a rep team which would have been a great experience. But I'm really pleased to have made it in Year 11 and hopefully I'll have another chance next year," he said.
It was a real family affair with Lachlan's younger brother Rowan (Year 10) securing four V-Bulls to come equal top in the Buchanan Shield, a 300m eight-shot deliberate stage followed by an eight-shot snap application with the target turned away every five seconds on the second day.
TAS was unplaced in each of the three matches, the third being the NRA Shield shot at 600m on the first day of competition.
With the vast majority of last year's squad comprising Year 12s, this year's TAS team was a smaller and much younger outfit, the 11-shooters including only one Year 12 student and four, in just Year 9. The School's Shooting Coordinator David Lawrence said it was a tough season for the young team with preparation interrupted for months by COVID-19 restrictions.
"They all tried their hardest and you don't have to do much wrong to knock yourself out of contention. Despite the challenges though it was also a good development opportunity for a group of enthusiastic young shooters who have a lot of potential," Lawrence said.
He said the school was grateful for the coaching assistance of Mark Morton at a training camp at Wollomombi Rifle Range held the weekend prior to the competition, and to Qld state shooter Rob Bondfield who attended throughout.
Once again Sydney Boys' High School generously lent its boat shed to accommodate the TAS team.