The season hasn’t even officially begun for the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Riflery program yet two team members are already off to a great start.
In a field of 20 competitors, Vaishnavi “Vivi” Venkat '25 and Marisa Cyboron '24 placed in the top four at the 2023 Connecticut Presidents Match in Colebrook on Oct. 1.
Shooters had 40 shots at four positions for a maximum score of 1,600. Vivi placed second with 1,567 points, just 10 points out of first place. Marisa took fourth with 1,546.
Quotes from Coach Passy
On Vivi's performance: “I didn't know what to expect from Vivi going into the match as there were a bunch of firsts for her. It was her first time shooting outdoors, first time at these distances, first time self-sighting, first time firing this many shots, first time making sight adjustments on her own. She handled it all so well. I am excited to see how she progresses from here now that she has gained some confidence from this.”
On Marisa's performance: “Marisa was on track to medal in this match until she had troubles adjusting her sights on her first 100-yard target. Having also never shot that distance before, it was a learning experience that clearly helped her right away as she bounced back with her best scores in the final 100-yard match. I am very proud of the way she responded to the adversity.”
Quotes from Vivi
On why she wanted to attend the shooting event: “Last winter was my first time shooting, and from the moment I first got a score after shooting I was competitive and wanted to keep challenging myself. During the concentration this fall I got to improve my skills as a shooter and this event presented the opportunity to learn a lot in terms of self-sighting, adjusting the sights of my rifle and so on by myself without the help a sighter for the first time. Furthermore, it was an outdoor event, which made it all the more exciting since we compete indoors. Overall, I was eager to attend this event mainly for the experience and implement the new skills to this amazing sport.”
On her performance: “Before the event I wasn’t quite sure what result to expect but I wanted to make every shot the best possible, but it proved to be quite difficult with the blazing sun and the distance being three times as far compared to what we usually practice, which led me to believe that my score would be nowhere near the top five. But at the end of the day, it turned out well with a second-place finish overall.”
On why she is drawn to riflery: “My sophomore year was my first season in riflery. Since then, I have developed a profound enthusiasm for this sport because it challenges me to constantly improve my focus, concentration, decision-making abilities and mindset. As a result of which I have wanted to devote as much time as possible to learn and practice my skills more in this sport since I find that small bore riflery demands not only physical precision but also mental clarity and strategic thinking.”
Quotes from Marisa
On why she wanted to attend the shooting event: “I wanted to attend the match because I felt that it would be a good experience, and I love outdoor competitions. The wind factor adds a really fun element to shooting. I also thought that attempting to shoot at 100 yards (we normally shoot at 50 feet) would be interesting and a challenge.”
On her performance: “I performed well. I had only one bad target out of the eight, so I was obviously disappointed with that. I had my highest score of the day in the match after that. My goal was to focus more on my technique and state of mind rather than my overall ranking, and I feel that I learned a lot.”
On why she is drawn to riflery: “I love riflery because of the technicality and precision of it. I love all the fine tuning, constant little improvements, and discovering how very small adjustments can help me to improve. I also love how direct it is, how there is no uncertainty about a score, and you can see exactly where you went wrong and then figure out how to improve for next time.”