ARPT bags awards in 2014 Philippine National Shooting Championship

All photos courtesy of the Ateneo Rifle-Pistol Team (ARPT)

THE ATENEO Rifle-Pistol Team (ARPT) earned podium finishes in the men’s and women’s division in the 10-meter Air Pistol category of the 2014 Philippine National Shooting Championship. The prestigious competition comprised of participants from the Ateneo de Manila University and the Philippine National Shooting Team was held on September 28 at the Marines Shooting Range, Taguig City.

The men’s team, composed of Ian Quintin, Paul Santos and Jose Altoveros bagged the bronze with scores of 490, 459 and 492, respectively. Contestants were allowed 60 shots with 10 points each, making a perfect individual score of 600. Their total of 1,441 then allowed them to snatch the third spot.

The women’s team, on the other hand, won the coveted first place finish. The group composed of Nicole Mercado, Alex Dayrit and Sherry Gonida of the ARPT outlasted their competitors with a total score of 1,050. Unlike the men’s division, the women’s category allowed for only 40 shots with 10 points each, making the individual perfect score 400. Each ARPT member was then able to garner excellent marks, with Mercado tallying 351 points, Dayrit with 357 and Gonida with 342. While their second place competitor hustled to gain a 1,034 mark, their lead gave them a comfortable margin that allowed them to eventually emerge as champions.

While the teams bagged awards in the team category, the ARPT athletes also fared well in their individual rankings.

For the women’s division, the highest possible score was 400 with 40 10-point shots each. Dayrit managed to rank fourth in the overall tally after securing a record of 357 points. Mercado followed as the fifth highest scorer with 351 markers, while Gonida followed through as the seventh highest with 342 points.

ARPT alumnus Owen Ilagan, on the other hand, started the men’s individual ranks after finishing fourth with a total of 542 out of a perfect 600 points. Leonard Floresta then followed with a ninth place finish after tallying 510 markers, while Altoveros came close at 11th place with 492 points. Ian Quintin, Dranz Barbin and Paul Santos then finished 12th, 13th and 14th with markers of 490,484 and 459, respectively.

Although the competition turned out well for the Ateneo team, the members admit that they never expected to win, especially because they were up against national team members. Nicole Mercado of the women’s team shared, “I personally thought my score was not even going to reach 300. We lacked training because we were all catching up with school since finals week was fast approaching, and we were against national team members.”

Furthermore, they were not able to bring in all members of the ARPT specifically due to insufficient equipment.

Nonetheless, their limit in number was offset by the mental conditioning that Coach Danilo Flores gave them as they entered the competition. “Coach’s instruction was to just relax even though we were competing with national team members.” Mercado said. “He told us to not expect anything, to just do our best and to pretend we were practicing, since, more than anything else, you’re competing with yourself if you get nervous,”

Quintin from the men’s team further shared that there was no greater game plan than mental fortitude. The ultimate mindset for the whole team was Flores’s constant reminder: “Forget everything for the meantime and just shoot with confidence.”

This mental training proved to be successful for the members as they emerged triumphant in this year’s competition. They were awarded last October 19, Sunday, at the Marines Shooting Range in Taguig.

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