Ohio man competes in History Channel's "Top Shot"

The Akron Beacon-Journal is reporting that an Ohio man is among those competing on Top Shot, a History channel series that premiered Sunday at 10:00 p.m.

Hosted by Colby Donaldson of Survivor fame, the show has 16 marksmen competing for a $100,000 prize. Among the competitors is Chris Cerino of Wadsworth, Ohio, who told the Alron newspaper he loved being part of it.

From the article:

"I love anything that's a challenge," he said. "This competition was right up my alley...I was smiling ear to ear and Colby would say, 'Chris, why are you smiling so much?' And I'm thinking, 'This is really great fun.'"

For the last four years, Cerino has taught firearms and tactical operations courses for the Ohio attorney general's Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Ohio. Because of his participation in Top Shot, a special profile and video of Cerino have been posted online at http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.

Since growing up in North Royalton, the 40-year-old Kent State graduate has also worked for the Medina County sheriff and Medina police and was a federal air marshal for four years.

While he cannot say how he did on the show, which was taped in March and April, he did say that "I really did a lot better in the whole thing than I ever thought I would because there were so many great people out there, and so much talent."

Cerino told the Beacon-Journal that he heard about the show through friends, and that it wanted "people with experience with, you know, marksmanship and weapons systems and with big personalities."

According to the story, he sent an e-mail and photograph. He was then asked for more paperwork and a video, then more video, and then he was invited to a casting call in Los Angeles in February. By then, more than 5,000 applicants had been reduced to 50.

A week later, he was asked to be on the show, and by March, he found himself north of Los Angeles in Santa Clarita, squaring off against the other 14 men and one woman in the competition.

The competition, which begins with the 16 players divided into two teams, involves target work with rifles, handguns, slingshots, knives and other weapons — enough of a range of tasks that no one contestant will be at ease with everything.

"I was most comfortable with anything that was a firearm," Cerino said. On the other hand, "knife throwing was an area that was very hard for me."

Social skills also play a role as the players get to know each other, and when elimination looms. There was plenty of intensity in the whole process, Cerino said.

"For me it was a fantastic experience, and a fantastic way to sort of validate what it is I do as a firearms instructor for law enforcement," Cerino is quoted as saying. "My biggest focus is in the fundamentals of marksmanship, and I believe that with good solid basics and good solid fundamentals, all things are possible."

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