It was a productive weekend for Oak Harbor’s Lauren Crossley and the Sabertooth Shooting Squad.
Crossley signed a letter of intent to shoot for Division I North Carolina State University Friday, Nov. 15, and the next day she helped the Sabertooth Shooting Squad precision team win the Washington State Civilian Marksmanship Program Three Position Air Rifle Championships by taking first in the individual standings.
The state championship was staged in three locations (Puyallup, Vancouver and Spokane), and scores were compared to determine the winner.
Crossley wasn’t the only star to shine bright for the Sabertooth Shooting Squad coached by Dave Goodman.
The sporter rifle team, led by individual champion Rylan Quiros, defended its the state title. The squad was so dominant, it snared the first five spots in the individual standings. Quiros, who shot a 541-14 out of a perfect 600-60, was followed by Ivan Snyder (539-13), Trevor Westman (530-14), Meagan Kunze (506-13) and Lillian Sherwood (488-10).
In precision, Crossley (587-39) was closely followed by teammate James Hart (586-42) in second place. Cheyenne Maggard finished sixth (581-31), Alexis Kunze seventh (566-25) and Luana Decker 23rd (566-25).
In winning the precision team title, the Sabertooth Shooting Squad defeated the first- (Spokane Rifle Club) and third-place (Capital City of Olympia) teams from last year’s national tournament.
“Washington state is currently the toughest state in the country for air rifle,” Goodman said. “To knock off both these teams is akin to stepping up to the top of the podium at the Olympics and telling the winners you are coming to claim their spot.”
In all, Sabertooth Shooting was represented by 18 athletes, the largest contingent at state, according to Goodman.
Crossley, a senior at Oak Harbor High School, said she realized she could earn a college rifle scholarship midway through her junior year when the awards began to pile up, including earning an invitation to the National Junior Olympics.
North Carolina State was the first school to offer her a scholarship, and after visiting the campus, she “didn’t want to see anyone else.”
“I fell in love with the whole campus,” she said. “I really like the South. Everyone was so nice and the campus has a lot of benefits for athletes.”
Crossley, who has a 3.5 grade point average, plans to study criminal justice and become a forensic scientist.
Goodman said Crossley earned the scholarship because she put in the necessary work to develop her talent.
“It’s how bad you want it,” he said. “The effort she put in was beyond others; she was willing to put the time in.
“She also has the support of her family (parents Troy and Jen Crossley). Her family has been stellar.”