While it didn't win the overall prize, the Carson High rifle team can still call itself a national champion.
Carson finished first among Navy units and took fourth overall in the recent National Junior ROTC competition held in Ft. Benning, Ga. Carson also had two shooters finish in the top 15 overall as Cody Stokes took seventh and Leah Taboada was 14th.
Twelve teams competed in the event as the coutry's top four Army, Navy and Marine units participated. Carson was fourth with 4,214 points.
The Army unit from Bogalusa, La., won its third straight national title with 4,259 points. The Army unit from Paschal, Texas was second at 4,256 and the Marine unit from Tuba City, Ariz. was third with 4,242.
Carson rebounded from a subpar first day to post the highest score of 2,130 on the second day.
"There was some great shooting," Carson coach Wayne Baker said. "We had a bad first day, probably one of our worst days. That's the way it goes.
"They did great. I was really proud. After the first day they didn't quit, they sucked it up."
Carson's finish at the national is it's highest ever. Carson finished seventh in the nationals in 2003.
"We felt proud of what we got," Baker said. "Navy championship is pretty good for us."
Stokes finished among the top eight to advance to the finals with a 1,083 out of 1,200. Taboada finished with 1,073 out of 1,200 and missed the finals by two points. "That's just super," said Baker about Stokes' and Taboada's finish.
Also for Carson, Michael Moltz was 32nd with a 1,044 and Sarah Stadler had a 1,014. Five-hundred per round is considered an outstanding score and all four of Carson's shooters averaged over 500 a round.
Baker noted the last time Carson went to nationals, a score of under 4,100 was good enough to win the title. "These scores are unreal," he said. "They've really gone up."