Feb. 26, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. -
Army's rifle team turned in a solid performance in air rifle, but it wasn't enough as the Black Knights finished fifth at the Great America Rifle Conference title Sunday afternoon at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center. The Black Knights and Ole Miss posted combined scores of 4653, but the Rebels won the tie breaker on center shots for fourth place.
No. 4 Army surprised the opening day capturing the team title in smallbore with a 2318 to hold a three-point lead over defending champion West Virginia. The No. 3 Mountaineers captured the air rifle portion of the meet with a 2366, four points ahead of No. 2 Kentucky, to defend their GARC title for the third straight year with a 4681 composite. The Wildcats, runner-up in air rifle with a 2362, finished second in the team standings with a 4675.
Nebraska, placing fourth in smallbore and air rifle, moved up a spot to earn the bronze with a 4658 composite in outpointing Army and host Ole Miss by five points. Ole Miss turned in the third highest air rifle score (2351) after placing fifth in smallbore (2301) to tie the Black Knights for fourth place. Memphis (4631) and North Carolina State (4555) rounded out the seven-team field.
Sophomore Richard Calvin just missed qualifying for the individual finals (top eight) by a point in air rifle with a 590 to finish ninth in the open relay scoring. It is the sixth time this season Richard fired a 590 or above, and is the second straight year he turned in Army's top score in this event at the conference championships.
Senior Kelly Buck, who captured her first conference title Saturday after being crowned the smallbore champion, turned in Army's second highest score with a 587 to finish 12th among a field of 50 shooters in the open relay scoring.
Joining Calvin and Buck on Army's four-man unit that combined for a 2335 were Zachary Wells (583) and Michael Matthews (575).
Buck finished fifth in the combined scoring with an 1172 (585 SM, 587 AR), trailing by five points the winning mark of 1178 recorded by West Virginia's Petra Zublasing. Michael Matthews (579 SM and 575 AR) posted an 1154 edging teammate Joseph Todaro (579/574) by a point for 20th place. Calvin recorded an 1147 (557/590) and William Mengon posted an 1145 (575 SM, 570 AR) in rounding out Army's top competitors in the aggregate scoring.
Army will be idle next week as it prepares for the 2012 NCAA Championships being held March 9-10 at Ohio State's Converse Hall and French Field House, in Columbus, Ohio. The Black Knights will be joined at the championship by GARC members Kentucky, the defending champion, and West Virginia, runner-up last year.