Jan. 31, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army's rifle team (6-3, 3-2 GARC), coming off a busy slate last weekend, returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 2, when the Black Knights host Navy (3-2) in the annual "Star" match at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center. Army, ranked No. 5 in the latest Collegiate Rifle Coaches' Association poll, will be looking to record its fourth straight win over the No. 15 Midshipmen.
This will be the second time this season that Army and Navy have met as both were part of the four-team field that competed at the President's Trophy Match hosted by Air Force in the fall. Though the Black Knights came up short of defending their team title after being edged by the Falcons (4639-4638), they bounced back to outpoint the Midshipmen (4639-4595) and Coast Guard (4639-4287) to place runner-up.
Army turned in a strong performance last weekend and is looking for that momentum to carry into Saturday's meet. The Black Knights tied the school air rifle mark of 2357 and set a team-high 4675 finishing a point behind No. 6 Jacksonville State and ahead of No. 11 Ole Miss in a home triangular match.
Junior Richard Calvin led Army in air rifle with a 592 (one shy of his season high and three off his career mark). He was joined by classmates Joseph Todaro and Michael Matthews, and freshman Alyssa Gestl, on the record-tying team. Gestl and Todaro tied their career marks with 589s.
Matthews was the medalist in smallbore (fifth time this season) after tying his career high 589 (set last year at the NCAA Championships) in outpointing his nearest rival by five points. Though Matthews was the lone Black Knight to finish in the top five individually in smallbore, Army came away with the top score of 2318 to nip Jacksonville State by a point and Ole Miss by three points.
Navy is coming off a 4618-4303 dual win over the University of the Sciences. Steven Frazier's 579 smallbore helped the Midshipmen establish a season-high 2301 in the discipline, and Ryan Williams led the team in air rifle with a 587.
In a comparison of the two service academy rivals, both teams set season highs in their last outing with Army registering a 4675 and Navy posting a 4618. The Midshipmen's team highs are a 2301 in smallbore and 2328 in air rifle compared to Army's highs of 2319 (SB) and 2357 (AR).
Individually, Army's top score in air rifle is a 593 recorded by Calvin with Matthews, who fired a 592 in that event, the leader in smallbore (589). Frazier ranks among Navy's leaders in both events, firing the highest score of 583 in smallbore and the second highest mark of 588 in air rifle behind Williams' 589.
Two of Army's losses and both of Navy's were to West Virginia and Kentucky, members of the Great America Rifle Conference with the Black Knights, currently ranked No. 1 and No. 3, respectively. But records and scores, however, are thrown out when teams meet in the annual Army-Navy rivalry. The Black Knights hold a 40-32 edge in the all-time series that began in 1939.
Fans unable to make the trek to West Point will be able to follow the match through live stats available on Army's website at www.goARMYsports.com. The link is accessible by navigating to the rifle schedule page. Twitter updates will also be provided via the official handle of Army rifle (@Army_Rifle).