The Valdez High School rifle team is in first place after the first day of the Mid Alaska Conference regionals, which took place Friday at the University of Alaska Fairbanks E.F. Horton Rifle Range.

Day one consisted of the air rifle competition and the competition concludes today with the smallbore competition. The winning team will be awarded based off the combined totals.

Valdez finished Saturday with 2,229 points followed by Hutchison with 2,199 and Delta with 2,185. Lathrop and West Valley are in fourth and fifth place with 2,182 and 2,160 points respectively.

“It’s going to be a close one because throughout the season Hutchison has beaten Valdez in smallbore every time,” Hutchison head coach Audrey Lammers said after the air rifle competition.

“They usually take us in air and we make up for it in smallbore.” 

Valdez’s Tiffany Larcom took first place in air rifle with 576 points. Diana Maxey of West Valley finished two points behind with 574 and Kelsey Wade of Lathrop rounded out the top three with 564.

“With regionals it’s a lot of pressure since it’s the biggest and last match of the year so it’s not uncommon for kids to not do their best,” Lammers added.

“Overall, most of out top shooters across the conference didn’t do as well as they normally do.”

The smallbore competition begins today at 9 a.m. at the E.F. Horton Rifle Range. The winning team will be awarded based off the combine smallbore and air rifle scores.

Contact News-Miner sports writer Laura Stickells at 459-7530. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMsports.