(AUSTIN HIGH SCHOOL – Feb. 16, 2023) – Austin High School cadets admirably represented El Paso last weekend during the 2023 JROTC Air Rifle Regional Competition in Anniston, Alabama, with a solid eighth-place finish in the precision category.
The five-member team competed against teams from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Cadet Alicia Alvarado placed sixth out of 44 shooters with a score of 1,253.8.
“We are super proud of how our students competed and represented Austin, EPISD and the city of El Paso,” said 1st Sgt. Anthony Dinkins. “It’s not every day that our students get the opportunity to go and compete outside the city or state level and we could not be happier for them on their continued success.”
This isn’t the first time the team qualified for the regional competition. Last year, Austin sent an all-girls team to Alabama for the competition.
“The team has really nice chemistry,” said Alvarado, who was among the all-girls team last year. “We push each other, we talk to each other.”
Her teammate, senior Elianna Ruiz, who leads El Paso ISD as the brigade commander cadet colonel, also competed last year on the all-girls squad.
“It makes me feel good that we got eight,” she said. “I see us as being in the top 10.”
Ruiz also credits the team’s chemistry and dedication to mastering skills for their success.
“We have a lot of love for each other. It makes us continue to come back, push each other and practice in the mornings,” Ruiz said.
She plans to continue with air rifle competitions when she enrolls at UTEP in the fall.
“I like the way it makes me feel,” Ruiz said. “You have to learn different types of techniques and focus your mind, body and soul.”