Alayna Walther of Avella put the finishing touches on an impressive season by winning the PIAA State Scholastic Smallbore Prone Championship.
Walther, a junior, shot 414.4 on the USA50 target. How good is that score? Well, let’s put it this way: You don’t want to accidentally wander into her line of sight. Or to steal a line from the former Pittsburgh Pirates broadcaster Bob Prince, Walther could knock the fuzz off a tick’s ear. That’s how accurate she is.
She became the first state rifle champion from Avella since WPIAL Hall of Famer Rob Gagliani in 2009. Walther finished third and 10th in the previous two state tournaments.
Walther started out in competition using an Anschutz rifle but made the switch to a Walther KK500, possibly making her the only state rifle champion with the same name as the rifle she uses. Walther’s state championship capped a strong postseason by the smaller schools in the area as West Greene’s Sheyann Watson won the WPIAL individual championship.