Last Time Out:
Nov. 4: The rifle team traveled to Annapolis, Md., to compete in the annual President’s Trophy Match against sister academies, No. 13 Navy, No. 16 Army West Point, and No. 23 U.S. Coast Guard. “With their A game on, the academies kept the scoring close as all schools were shooting better than they have in previous matches this season,” according to head coach Launi Meili. The final scores came down to Air Force leading Army by 12 points (4668-4656), Navy by 14 (4654), and the Coast Guard by over 100 points (4512). This is Air Force’s fourth-consecutive Trophy title and fifth overall.
“Three Air Force shooters finished with personal bests in the match, and all of the six team members, had at least one of their scores count in the team total, making the match a complete team effort,” said Meili.
Nov. 5: Following the win in Annapolis, the Falcons traveled to Lexington, Va., to compete in a match against No. 25 Virginia Military Institute’s coed and women’s teams. Air Force won the match, going 4656-4505 and 4393, respectively.
Top Individual Scores: On Saturday (Nov. 4), Freshman Sarah Sawicki finished with the leading aggregate 1174, which was a personal best for the season. She also had personal bests in both rifles scoring a 596 in air rifle and 578 in smallbore. Junior Anna Weilbacher and freshman Nate Peterson had season personal bests (581) in the smallbore. Weilbacher finished second on the top individual standings with an 1171, while Peterson finished 10th in the rankings with an 1159. Senior Spencer Brandon set a smallbore personal best with a 575.
On Sunday (Nov. 5), Brandon matched his previous best score in smallbore (575) against VMI and finished with a 590 in air rifle (1165). Both his 590 and 1165 are personal bests for the season.
Team Standing: Air Force improved to 5-4 on the season, and is 0-4 in Patriot Rifle Conference matches.
Air Force Ranked: As of Oct. 31, Air Force moved to No. 12 in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association rankings. The new rankings will be available later in the week.
Air Force Rifle Athlete of the Week (Nov. 6): Freshman Sarah Sawicki (East Brunswick, N.J.) is this week’s Rifle Athlete of the Week. Sawicki led all shooters in the President’s Trophy Matches against sister academies Navy, Army and the U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday, Nov. 4, in Annapolis. In the four-way match, Sawicki led all shooters in the air rifle scoring a 97, 99 and four-straight 100s (400/400) in her last series of targets to finish with a 596 out of 600. She led all competitors with a final score of 1174 to help push Air Force to its fourth team title.
Weekend Outlook: Air Force will host two-days of competition against No. 2 Kentucky, No. 6 Ohio State, and No. 7 Nebraska on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18-19 at the Falcon Rifle Range. All four teams are coming off of winning weekends. Kentucky posted a 4689-4664 win against Ole Miss, while OSU had a 4685-4583 over conference opponent UTEP. Nebraska has not competed since Oct. 29, when it scored a 4665-4640 victory over Memphis.
Johnson on board: This is Assistant coach Dave Johnson first season with the Falcons. Johnson was officially hired in September as the Falcons’ assistant coach.
Ready to compete: The Air Force Falcons welcome four new shooters to the roster. On the roster are freshmen Mary Maystrovich (Nine Mile Falls, Wash., Nate Peterson (Sharpsburg, Ga.), Sarah Sawicki (East Brunswick, N.J.), and Belle Toney (Farmington, N.M.).
The quartet of freshmen will join returning starters, senior Spencer Brandon (Kingsport, Tenn.), juniors Spencer Cap (Cranbury, N.J.), Nick Learn (South Ridge, Wis.), and Anna Weilbacher (Leona Valley, Calif.), and sophomores, Kyle Cox (Montrose, Colo.), and Logan Ogden (Galway, N.Y.).
For more information on the Air Force Falcons rifle team, follow @AF_Falcons on Twitter or like the Air Force Academy Rifle team page on Facebook.