Three-peat for young McMaster
DESPITE heading into the 2023 shooting championships admitting to not being focused on winning a three-peat, 15-year-old sensation Aliana McMaster staved off a strong challenge from her mother Wendy McMaster to win the 2023 staging of the Proven David East Sporting Clay Challenge at Murphy Hall Estate in Ocho Rios on Sunday. Aliana ended the championships on 76 points, ahead of Wendy McMaster (75) and Abigail McMaster on 72.
The Campion College student, although claiming her third straight title, believes that her performance on the day could have been much better.
“I’m honestly grateful for the chance to defend this title that I’ve had for the last three years. This is honestly something that I would love to continue, but I was hoping for a better performance from myself and it just disappointed me when everything settled,” she said.
Aliana believes some pre-tournament trash talk was aimed at disrupting her focus, but commended herself for having a level head throughout the championships to lift the title.
“I think there was some pressure from the start but it was from internal rather than external. There was a few things that may have been said prior to the start to kind of get into my head. Though it was a constant fight throughout the entire course, I was able to control it and, as I progressed throughout the course, I really did my best to try and manage that,” the three-time champion revealed.
Being one of the country’s leading shooters and still in high school, Aliana explains that it brings its own challenges to her daily life. She also leaves the island each year to compete in tournaments abroad.
“Luckily, this shoot (2023 championships) ended early so I could get back in time to rest for school the next day. This year, I’ll be leaving like once a month starting February, while last year, I left twice a month. When you come off the course, school isn’t necessarily the first thing on your mind. So it’s kind of difficult to squeeze in school but I’m doing a pretty good job at managing it all,” Aliana disclosed.
For Christina East, president of the Driftwood Gun Club, the 2023 staging had the perfect blend of competition, shooters and atmosphere.
“I’m thankful that we had 130 shooters, and, post-COVID, this is a great turnout for the shooters and the spectators. It has been a great atmosphere, the shooters said it (course) was perfect and this is what Driftwood wants to give the shooting community. I’m happy, the spectators were happy, the shoot-off was great and it brought excitement,” President East stated.