Rifle Ties School Mark In Air Rifle

Michael Matthews

Michael Matthews

Jan. 27, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - No. 5 Army's rifle team tied the school mark in air rifle with a 2357 and set a season-high 4675 in the combined scoring, but fell short of sweeping a triangular match Sunday afternoon at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center. No. 6 Jacksonville State nipped the Black Knights by a point with a 4676 to post the sweep with No. 11 Ole Miss finishing third firing a 4654.

Junior Richard Calvin led Army in air rifle with a 592 (one shy of his season high and three off his career mark) to place third overall. Junior Joseph Todaro and freshman Alyssa Gestl tied their career marks with 589s to share fifth place, and junior Michael Matthews placed eighth with a 587 in rounding out Army's record-setting unit that tied the school mark set in 2007.

"I feel personally accomplished as my air rifle score keeps getting better and better," noted Todaro. "From here I am hoping that our team keeps developing and that we will break the record the next time we compete"

Jacksonville State, however, took team honors in air rifle after sweeping the top two individual places and three of the top four spots in nipping Army by two points, 2359-2357, as the Gamecocks overcame a one-point deficit (2318-2317) in smallbore to take first-place honors. Army's team score of 4675 shattered its previous season high of 4664 set in a triangular sweep of The Citadel and North Carolina State earlier this month.

Matthews earned medalist honors in smallbore for the fourth and fifth time this season after tying his career high 589 (set last year at the NCAA Championships) in outpointing his nearest rival (Jacksonville State's Monica Fyfe) by five points. Though Matthews was the lone Black Knight to finish in the top five individually, Army came away with the top team score of 2318 to nip Jacksonville State by a point and Ole Miss by three points heading into air rifle. Joining Matthews on Army's scoring unit were Todaro (579), William Mengon (575) and Calvin (575).

"It is a great achievement tying the school record, but I am a little disappointed because we were so close to solidifying the record and had some very close shots down the stretch that fell short," said Army head coach Ron Wigger. "We had several nines in the last five shots, and had that been a 10, we would have set the school record and won the match.

"The most pleasant thing about this is that we are showing progress in air rifle which has been something we have needed to improve in order to compete at the national level. That trend is continuing and we are improving in air rifle."

Army (6-3,3-2 GARC), picked up its third win in the Great America Rifle Conference in besting Ole Miss and has just one match remaining when it takes on Nebraska, currently ranked No. 7, in its final road match on Feb. 9.

The Black Knights return to action on Saturday hosting No. 13 Navy in the annual "Star" match at Tronsrue Marksmanship Center at 9 a.m. Army will be in the hunt for its fourth straight win over its counterpart.

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