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Huntington student captures national sharpshooter title

Sep. 30, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Jason Black, a 2012 graduate of Huntington High School and an active member of the Putnam County Gun Club, recently competed in the National Smallbore Prone Rifle Matches in Camp Perry in Ohio and emerged a champion.

Black, 18, competed in the national championship in the junior sharpshooter division, earning an aggregate score of 4,737.

"He was 14 when he joined the club," said his father, Rodney Black. "We were at the 2009 West Virginia Hunting and Fishing show and walked by the club's booth. Jason saw all those nice rifles and said he'd like to try that."

The younger Black joined the club a few months later. In 2010, he shot at the national matches for the first time and earned a marksman rating from the National Rifle Association. He returned to Camp Perry, Ohio, for the 2011 matches and upgraded his rating to sharpshooter.

At the 2011 West Virginia Junior Olympics, he earned a silver medal in the three-position smallbore event and a bronze medal in air rifle. In early August, at the 2012 national matches, he won four single-day junior sharpshooter events, including: Dewar Metallic Sights Match, where he registered a perfect 400 score; the Dewar Any Sights Match, where he shot a 399; the 100-yard Any Sights Match, where he fired a 397; and the High Aggregate match for the competition's third day, where he scored 1,191 points of 1,200 possible.

He also won the Junior Sharpshooter-class Prone Any Sights championship with an aggregate score of 2,372 of a possible 2,400; the Prone Metallic Sights championship with 2,365 of 2,400 possible; and the National Prone Junior Sharpshooter championship with 4,737 of 4,800 possible.

In the process of dominating the Junior Sharpshooter competition, Black gained the NRA's Expert rating. His championship is a first for the Putnam County Gun Club.