Smallbore and Air Rifle Season Recap.

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Im sorry it has been so long but you will never guess all the amazing experiences I’ve had since the last time we talked!!! However, now that my Smallbore and air rifle season is over a recap is defiantly a necessity.

Since the start of the school year I have been working very hard to prepare myself for the WIRC Championships and the National Championships. I’ve had many obstacles to overcome but IIMG_8118 have also had a ton of fun this season!

For the WIRC Championships we shot matches at home and sent in scores to be ranked against other colleges in the Western Intercollegiate Conference (WIRC) then in February, all conference participants head to Purdue University for the Championship Match. Upon completion of the match, all scores are tallied not only from the championship match, but also from the previous four postal matches and put together in one fantastic awards banquet. Last year the Zips were successful in taking home one very large trophy. This year, we were hoping for more…and did not fail.

Saturday started early with brushing snow off the vehicles and cold bores on the range. However, once the Zips started warming up, there was no stopping. My Team member Luke Massie led the team in Smallbore with an impressive 558. Hot on his heals was another team member freshman Liz Bark with a new personal best of 556. Both scores landed Luke and Liz as second and third place individuals for the match. Team member Chris Thomas fired a near-season high of 548 awarding him the 5th most improved Smallbore individual in the conference. That weekend I fired a new personal best of 540 with only one week of practice with my new gun! Once all shots were fired, the team combined score of 2202 was enough to pull ahead and win the gold for Smallbore WIRC Champion Team. When combining this score with all previous team postal scores, the Zips also secured the win for Overall Regular Season Team Champion. Other awards received were Liz Bark, Brandon Meier and Chris Thomas being named to the 1st place All Conference Smallbore Team. On the 2nd place All Conference Smallbore Team were Joe IMG_8135Hendricks and myself.

Many times when a team excels in one event, it’s hard to bring the focus back and excel on the next event, but Zips Rifle was determined not to be distracted when it came to Air Rifle. Leading the pack was team mate Brandon Meier shattering his old personal best by shooting a 576 and taking home the gold as individual match champion. Another record-breaking personal best performance came from my best friend and team mate Nick Haas who crushed his old personal best by firing a 553, landing him as the 3rd most improved air rifle conference competitor. This was such a proud moment for nick and I could not have been any happier for him! Duplicating their Smallbore performance, Zips Rifle dominated the air rifle event by winning gold in both the championship match and overall regular season with postal scores. Myself as well as team mates Liz Bark, and Brandon Meier were named to the 1st place All Conference Air Rifle Team. Team mates Chris Thomas and Joe Hendricks were named to the 2nd place All Conference Air Rifle Team.IMG_8122

Overall at the WIRC Championships the total team and individual awards were as follows:

SMALLBORE

Overall Regular Season Team Champion

5th Most Improved: Chris Thomas

 

SMALLBORE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

1st Place Team Champion

2nd Place Individual: Luke Massie

3rd Place Individual: Liz Bark

1st Place All Conference Team:

▪         Liz Bark

▪         Brandon Meier

▪         Chris Thomas

2nd Place All Conference Team:

▪         Joe Hendricks

▪         Gabby Pitre

 

AIR RIFLE

Overall Regular Season Team Champion

3rd Most Improved: Nick Haas

 

AIR RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

1st Place Team Champion

1st Place Individual: Brandon Meier

1st Place All Conference Team:

▪         Liz Bark

▪         Brandon Meier

▪         Gabby Pitre

2nd Place All Conference Team:

▪         Chris Thomas

▪         Joe Hendricks

IMG_8139To end the season this last weekend we competed in the NRA National Intercollegiate Rifle Championship in Fort Benning, GA. After the long 15 hour car drive we arrived on Thursday night to our hotel which became our new home for the next 4 days. Friday we showed up early to the range and got everyone registered for team and individual matches then got our gear out and began to practice and sight in our rifles for both Smallbore and air rifle.

Over the next two days we worked as hard as we could to make every shot a 10.9. on IMG_8126Saturday we competed in the Smallbore championships. This was one of our most challenging matches because this is the only time all year that we shoot outdoor 50 meters. After many laughs and just an overall great time we finished our match on the first relay. On Smallbore my team mate Chris Thomas shot a new season high of a score of 550. Everyone else fired scores within their average and at the end of relay 1 we had a combined team score of 2181 which left us sitting in the first place team spot.  Since we had all been up since 6:30 and were starving while the second relay fired we all went and
grabbed lunch and while at lunch we received a text from the match director and our couches dad Newt saying that we had maintained our first place spot after the second relay was complete winning us the National Smallbore Championships. We were all very excited but we knew that we still had one more day and one more match to still compete in and after our short celebration and congratulations to each other we re-focused and began talking and preparing for the next day.

IMG_8119On Sunday we were once again up bright and early to pack gear and head to the range to compete. It was air rifle day and many of us were very excited. after getting gear set up and doing one final check to make sure we had everything we took the line. Some of us hard a hard time settling into our shots but once we did we were on fire. At the end of the match we had all 5 of our counting team members in the top 15! and out of that 5, three of us were in the top 10! The next few hours while sitting at the hotel was a nail biter for some of our team member hoping to maintain their spot in the top ten but on top of that our team was yet again sitting in first place. The time ticked by minutes seemed to turn into hours as we all waited for the text with the final results. If any phone went off we all jumped and got excited wondering if it was the results. Then finally they came. The message reading “Zips Rifle Club has done it again!! Today the Zips became NRA Intercollegiate Air Rifle National Champions!!” We were all so excited because we knew that this also meant that we had won the overall combined aggregate as well! we all got on our phones and began calling our parents and telling them the great news and then we started preparing ourselves for the awards banquet that night.

Overall at the National Championships the total team and individual awards were as
follows:

SMALLBORE:

1st Place Team National Champion

Team Members:

  • Gabby Pitre
  • Luke Massie
  • Brandon Meier
  • Liz Bark,
  • Team Alt: Joe Hendricks

2nd All Star Team:

Luke Massie

Liz Bark

Brandon Meier

AIR RIFLE:

1st Place Team National Champion

Team Members:

  • Gabby Pitre
  • Luke Massie
  • Brandon Meier
  • Liz Bark,
  • Team Alt: Joe Hendricks

1st All Star Team:
Liz Bark

2nd All Star Team:

Luke Massie

Brandon Meier

2nd Place Individual: Liz Bark

8th Place individual: Luke Massie

10th Place individual: Gabby Pitre

11th Place individual: Brandon Meier

15th Place individual: Joe Hendricks

Overall Aggregate:

Aggregate Team National Champion:

Team Members:

  • Gabby Pitre
  • Luke Massie
  • Brandon Meier
  • Liz Bark,
  • Team Alt: Joe Hendricks

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This has been our best season yet as a team and we are gonna work even harder to defend our titles and do even better next year.

Next up High power season!

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