Sharpshooters Heads To Navy For "Star" Match

William Mengon

William Mengon

Feb. 2, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army's rifle team (6-3, 4-2 GARC) faces a stern test Saturday when it takes on host Navy (6-1) in the annual "Star" match scheduled for Saturday morning, 8 a.m., at Bancroft Hall Rifle Range. The Black Knights will be looking to record their third straight win over their arch-rival in the series as well at the Midshipmen's Range.

The Black Knights outpointed Navy last year at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center, 5816-5768, after winning 5770-5738 in their last trip to Annapolis, Md., in 2010 to lead 39-32 in the all-time series that began in 1939.

The Black Knights fired a 4631 competing last weekend at the NRA Sectionals (tournament format). Sophomore Richard Calvin posted a team-high 591 in air rifle with classmate Joseph Todaro leading the way with a 581 in smallbore. Jacob Costa recorded career marks finishing among the leaders in both disciplines. His 577 in smallbore earned him runner-up honors as a scoring member of that unit, while placing third with a 580 shooting individually in air rifle.

Senior Kelly Buck registered Army's second highest air rifle mark firing a 586 in joining Calvin on the scoring unit with Todaro contributing a 578 followed by Michael Matthews' 577. Matthews (574) and Calvin (567) joined Todaro and Costa in rounding out Army's four-man unit in smallbore.

Army and Navy will be meeting for the second time this season, having competed in the four-team field at the President's Trophy Match hosted by the Black Knights during the fall. Army captured its third straight title and sixth overall behind a 5812 five-man team score in outpointing runner-up Air Force by 63 points with Navy taking third (5734).

The Black Knights swept both disciplines with William Mengon earning medalist honors in smallbore (586), while Buck and Calvin tied for first in air rifle with identical 587s. Army swept the top five places in smallbore and claimed the first four spots in air rifle.

On paper, Army has the advantage over its counterparts as the Black Knights' highest team score is a 4666 followed by a pair of 4663 performances. Army's season highs in the team scoring in smallbore and air rifle are 2335 and 2343, respectively. Records and scores, however, are thrown out when teams meet in the annual Army-Navy rivalry.

Individually, Calvin has been Army's top shooter in air rifle averaging a 591.3 since the calendar flipped over to 2012. He posted a career-best 595 in a winning performance against NCAA defending champion Kentucky followed by a 588 and 591.

Calvin has also fired air rifle scores of 593 and 590 with Zachary Wells Army's next highest performer with a 590. Army's top pace setter in smallbore is Buck, a first-team All-American, who recorded a team best 589 this season with Mengon firing the next highest score of 586.

Navy's team high is a 4618, while its season best in each gun is a 2292 smallbore and 2337 air rifle, which is just six points shy of Army's top score in the latter. Junior Ryan Williams leads the Midshipmen in both disciplines, firing team highs in smallbore (583) and air rifle (589).

The trip to Annapolis, Md., closes out Army's road slate this season and the Black Knights will be looking for a strong performance, not only in their bid to defeat the Midshipmen, it is also their final opportunity to increase their NCAA qualifying score. Army's highest road score is a 4663 recorded in the season opening win over Memphis, and head coach Ron Wigger would like to see his team duplicate that effort or score in that range this weekend.

Army closes out its regular-season slate hosting USP in its NCAA Qualifier on Saturday, Feb. 18.

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