August 19th, 2011

Junior Shooter Wins Optics Category at National Defense Match

NRA National Defense Match Camp PerryAt the recent National Defense Match at Camp Perry, one young man gained more than just experience at his first rifle match — he took home top honors. 14 year-old Colton Cerino won first place in the Optics Category, no small feat for a young man competing with a rifle for the very first time. Shooting a FNH SCAR, Colton beat many older, experienced shooters, including his own father, Chris Cerino. Chris, you may recall, was the runner-up on Season 1 of The History Channel’s Top Shot TV show. Chris nearly won the open division, falling short only to his friend, Iain Harrison, (Top Shot’s Season 1 Champ) in the Open Category. Both Chris and Colton competed together at the 2011 Bianchi Cup, but for Colton, Camp Perry was his time to shine.

“Everyone noticed him and came up to talk to him, which was really cool” said Chris of his son Colton, who trained with his father for just three days before shooting the National Defense Match. Chris added: “If you’re going to lose to anyone, you might as well lose to your own son!”

Match Can Be a Family Affair
In addition to Colton, three other juniors shot the match including fellow 14 year-old competitors Remington Judd, Phoenix Hutchins, and Duncan Stewart. All four young men came to the match to compete with a family member. Like Colton, Duncan competed alongside his father, Zeb Stewart, who was also a Range Officer. Remington shot the match with his older brother, Nathan, and Phoenix competed with his grandfather, Dick Jones. “I designed the match after shooting with my sons,” revealed Match Director Trey Tuggle. “It’s something that everyone can do, from beginners to people who have been competing for years.”

Story by Kerrin Brinkman for The NRA Blog.

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