Phillips wins 1st WPIAL rifle title for Waynesburg
By: Bill Hartlep
Thursday, February 8, 2018 | 8:15 PM
Selena Phillips sought perfection and achieved it.
In the process, she made history for Waynesburg Central High School.
Phillips shot a perfect score of 200-20x to capture the WPIAL individual rifle championship Thursday at Dormont-Mt. Lebanon Sportsmen's Club in Canonsburg.
“Probably the best I've ever shot,” said Phillips, a junior who had five center shots.
Thirty-five of the 81 shooters hit all 20 of their targets, but Phillips was the only one to secure all bull's-eyes.
“The nerves were running high. I just had to calm myself when I was shooting,” she said. “I breathe, a lot. I don't think about anything. Just focus on circles.”
Shooters fire from the prone position on the range, aiming at double target sheets, with 20 total targets that must be completed in 20 minutes.
Phillips finished 29th as a sophomore, when she shot 199-18x at the WPIAL competition.
“She's drastically improved this year,” said Waynesburg coach Rich Rush, whose program is in its sixth season but had individual competitors prior. “She's probably been our most consistent shooter.”
She'll also be known as the first Waynesburg shooter to claim a district championship.
“I guess it sets the standard high for my teammates,” she said.
The top 15 shooters qualified for the state competition next Thursday at Frazier-Simplex Sportsmen's Club.
The qualifiers included Phillips, Woodland Hills' Jenna Yezovich (200-18x), Isabella Brawdy (200-18x) and Alaina Fawcett (200-17x); Bethel Park's Natilie Myers (200-18x) and Erin Rutherford (200-17x); Avella's Ehron Jones (200- 18x), Katina Haskakis (200-17x) and Alaina Walther (200- 17x); Hempfield's Scott Yurok (200-17x) and Emily Thomas (200-16x); McGuffey's Kyle Dietrich (200-18x); Washington's Oliver Kilgore (200-18x); Mt. Lebanon's Christina Strati (200-16x); and Butler's Tiffany Carlson (200-16x).
Bill Hartlep is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.