Massapequa riflery team claims regional championship

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Massapequa riflery coach Alex Norden likes to say that the key to his sport is to try to make the body do something it doesn't want to do.

In other words, "stay as still as possible," he said, "which relates to the mental discipline."

The Chiefs followed his message during New York's regional high school riflery championships Saturday at the United States Military Academy in West Point.

Led by senior Chris Esposito, juniors Thomas Sarant, Matt McKweon and Erin Kohler and team alternate sophomore Julie Kapuvari, Massapequa earned the overall team championship with 1,095 points in the 3-Position Smallbore Rifle category.

"Obviously, it's a fantastic season," said Norden, whose team captured the school's first county championship since 2001 and the first regional championship since 1996. "A tremendous amount of work put in by the competitors," said Norden, who is in his eighth season. "It's an honor and a privilege to be able to coach them."

Esposito placed second individually in the competition (283). Section VIII won the section championship.

In the air rifle category, Valley Stream District won its seventh consecutive team championship with a state record-setting 1,138 score. Senior Danielle Cuomo (West Point) took home the individual championship with a score of 291.

Freeport's Kiara Medina had the best score (280) as a section alternate.

[CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said Massapequa won a state title. The high school riflery competition in New York is a regional competition because less than six of the state's 11 sections participate in the sport.]

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