Northborough – Rio Ferguson, 13, traveled to Anniston, Ala., this summer to participate in the week long Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) 3-Position Air Rifle Camp.
Five hundred sixty three athletes from across the United States ranging in age from 13 to 18 attend the 12 camps conducted by the CMP throughout the summer. The camps are split into Sporter (348 participants) and Precision (215 participants) groups based on the type of equipment allowed. The campers work on improving their shooting from prone, kneeling and standing positions.
The CMP camps are staffed with some of the best shooters from colleges around the nation. Each camp ends with a formal competition where each player shoots 20 shots from each of the three positions. Each shot is scored from 0 to 10 points. To score a 10 the player must hit a dot about the size of a period at a distance of 10 meters using peep sights. The top eight players then participate in a final round of 10 shots in standing position where each shot is scored using decimals precision. The perfect score for a single shot is a 10.9. The scores from all 12 camps are compiled together to form the CMP Cup Match.
Rio placed 2nd in the camp finals and 4th overall out of the 215 precision shooters. He shot a perfect score of 200 in the prone position, a 194 in kneeling, and a 192 in standing. Rio’s prone and standing scores tied the highest score of all competitors. Ending with a 686.3 Rio was just 2.2 points behind the first place winner. In addition, his match score of 586 qualified Rio for 6 Excellence In Competition (EIC) points that starts him on the path of the 30 required to receive the highly prestigious Distinguished Shooter award. At just 13 years old Rio was one of the youngest competitors – only four other participants were younger.
Rio has been shooting since he was 10. He started shooting competitively with the junior rifle team at the Marlborough Fish & Game Association when he was 11. He is currently training at the Maspenock Rod & Gun Club in Milford under head coach Manny Synderman and his father Jay Ferguson.
Rio is already planning a career in the military and has hopes of one day to represent the United States in precision rifle shooting at the Olympics.