Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, November 4, 1999

H A W A I I _ P R E P _ S P O R T S

Air riflery
tourney is
nation’s second

The high school boys' competition
starts today and the girls begin tomorrow

By Ben Henry


Hawaii becomes the second state in the nation to host a high school association-sanctioned air riflery state tournament beginning today.

Zig Look, head coach of St. Louis and Sacred Hearts, said Georgia, with more than 1,000 shooters from about 100 schools, was the first in the country to sanction a state tournament. Hawaii has 300-400 shooters from more than 30 schools.

The boys' tournament is today and the girls tomorrow, both at Konawaena High School on the Big Island.

"I think it's a great sport for kids," Look said. "We treat it more as a privilege than anything else."

There will be many shooters who have a shot at the title this week, including Interscholastic League of Honolulu individual girls champion Tina Huang, of Sacred Hearts.

"She's very focused," said Look, her coach. "She can push out distractions and focus on the task at hand."

Look says Huang, a senior second-year shooter, is also very competitive. "She's got no problem with going shoulder-to-shoulder with anybody," he said.

But he says her ability to focus and her desire to succeed will give her an edge.

"Everybody shoots shots that aren't necessarily good," Look said. "They're always trying to shoot the perfect shot. When you're in a match, you can tell who the really good ones are by how they handle themselves and how they recover from really bad shots. That's what sets them apart. She'll fight all the way until the end."

Look says air rifle shooters, in general, are a different breed of athlete, although not a different species.

"It's not so much that they're different from other athletes, but the ones that tend to succeed are stronger than others," Look said.

"That encompasses concentration, commitment and the ability to push forward even when good things don't come your way," he continued. "I think that's the same for all sports. But the training is different. We train athletes to stay still, and others train for motion."

Although it is the ILH's first year in air rifle competition, St. Louis actually has a long tradition of riflery, Look says.The school's first riflery club was established in 1947. And the Oahu Interscholastic Association has had a league for about five years.

Besides Huang, who is currently being courted by Nevada, other sharpshooters at this week's tournament include St. Louis' Ryan Tanouye, the ILH individual champion.

The junior third-year shooter is the "most highly trained junior shooter in the state," Look said.

Tanouye placed seventh in National Junior Olympics at Colorado Springs last year and was named to its all-star team, and won a silver medal in his age category -- all firsts for a Hawaii shooter.

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