LUSBY, Md. – For the first time in school history, the Patuxent NJROTC veteran air rifle team took first place in the nation. The team traveled to Anniston, Alabama, to compete against many Navy JROTC schools from across the nation for two days.
The veteran team consisted of Madeline Vetting, Antara Parekhji, Christopher Mardones, Mariah Stone, and Gabrielle Price. The team was led by first sergeant Jeffery Treiber who has been leading the unit for eight years.
Cadet Petty Officer First Class Madeline Vetting, a sophomore, placed second individually in the entire nation. Antara Parekhji took eighth individually, and Christopher Mardones took tenth place individually as well.
“Honestly, it felt quite weird. It’s a surreal feeling I suppose. I knew it was possible, but it still hasn’t fully set in that we actually made it happen. It’s a crazy feeling in all honesty,” Madeline Vetting said.
Leading up to the competition, the team trained five days each week, with three-hour practices.
“The training and practice was hard in order to get ready for nationals. Every time we practiced, we got into nationals mode and got ready to shoot,” says Cadet Chief Petty Officer Antara Parekhji. “It was surreal, we had been working so hard and all of the hard work paid off. The whole team was emotional, especially myself and Mardones. The two of us have been on the team that went to nationals all three years, so for us, it was a special and an amazing feeling.”
Patuxent’s NJROTC unit has been among the top of the nation for the past few years. For the past five years, Patuxent has won the Maryland State Championship, along with the Area 5 championship. Last year, Patuxent took third place for the Navy National Championships, which was a virtual competition.
The veteran team will travel to Ohio in March to compete in the 2022 National JROTC Championships, which consists of all JROTC branches. Hopefully, Patuxent can continue its reign of success going forward.
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