Gulfport High School won the 2014 SECNAV Junior ROTC Service Championships in Anniston, Ala., over the weekend with a team score of 4,308.
The air rifle competition requires a team of four cadets to fire from prone, standing and kneeling positions.
Each individual is given a score based on the accuracy of their shots, and the four individual scores are combined for a team score.
Gulfport finished tops in the USMC Sporter Category from a field of 12 teams and 58 individuals. The team also hi 109 bull's eyes.
Individually, Jillian Tyler finished No. 3 overall with a combined score of 1,090 points and 30 bull's eyes. Ryan Cook was No. 7 with 1,078 points and 30 bull's eyes. Brittany Robbins was No. 8 with 1,075 points and 28 bull's eyes and Desia Tyler was No. 11 with 1,065 points and 21 bull's eyes.
The team advances to the All Service Trials at Camp Perry, Ohio, on March 21.
Lt. Col. John Owens, the team's coach, said the team "shot phenomenal today.
"Last year in the nationals, we were No. 1 in the Marine Corps and because of that, I thought we had a pretty good chance to be one of the top couple of teams," he said.
Tyler, Cook and Robbins, as three of the Top 8 shooters at the championships, also competed in a finals match. Tyler finished 4th, Cook 6th and Robbins 8th in the finals standing competition.
Owens said the team's combined score of 4,308 is the first time in four years that a Marine Corps team has topped 4,300 points in the competition.
"I like our chances for nationals at Camp Perry," he said. "We're the No. 1 team out of a combined 38 squads from Marine Corps and Navy."
The team puts in about 15 hours a week shooting, Owens said.
"Some of the positions are painful, but they have learned to overcome that. It's very challenging and a tough sport."
In the Navy ROTC Sporter Category, Moss Point finished No. 10 and Picayune Memorial High School finished No. 11 in a field of 12 teams and 58 individuals.
Moss Point's top shooter was Darrell Ray, who finished 16th individually with an aggregate of 1,062 points and 23 bull's eyes, followed by Christina Cumbest with 1,014 points and 26 bull's eyes, Kayla Truong with 1,007 points and 13 bull's eyes and Preston Barnette with 982 points and 18 bull's eyes.
Moss Point is coached by Doug Brown, USN retired.
Picayune's top shooter was Alex Cruz, who finished 25th individually with an aggregate score of 1.051 points and 27 bull's eyes. Also scoring for Picayune were Danielle Bear, 1,028 points and 25 bull's eyes, Ashlyn Spiers (team captain) with 1,026 points and 19 bull's eyes and Kayla Phillips with 941 points and 12 bull's eyes.
The team is coached by Lt. Cmdr. Steven Hardin.
According to a news release from Moss Point High School, sporter-class air rifles are designed for junior competitors and are characterized by their light weight, low cost and accuracy for basic marksmanship training.