Huskers Shoot down High-Flying Falcons
The Academy Rifle Team finally met its match when it hosted the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers on Thursday. Although the Falcons had set Academy records in their last three matches, they could only produce sub-standard scores in the face of national powerhouse Nebraska.
The Falcon shooters scored 4614 (out of 4800), while the Huskers rolled in with a 4682, one of the best scores in the nation this season. Both teams are attempting to qualify for the NCAA Championships in March, with the final qualifying match this Saturday at the Cadet Rifle Range.
Senior co-captain Tim Siemer led the Falcons with 580 (out of 600) in the Smallbore event, and 577 in Air Rifle. Co-captain Chris Hill was close behind with 574 in Smallbore and 581 in Air Rifle. Junior Jess Palomba shot 570 in Smallbore and 583 in Air Rifle, while freshman Clifton Mulkey shot 570 in Smallbore and 579 in Air Rifle. Their 4614 was nearly 30 points below their average of the last three matches, and no match for the nationally-ranked shooters from Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers' top shooters were senior Misty Chanek and junior Kristina Fehlings, both with combined Smallbore and Air Rifle Scores of 1174 (out of 1200).
The Falcons look to rebound with a strong performance against the Huskers this Saturday. Currently, the Falcons are holding the eighth and final spot in the qualifying race amongst all NCAA Division I Rifle teams in the nation. With several strong teams within a few points of the Academy shooters, the Falcons need strong performances from all their team members in every event. Said head coach Justin Broughton, "All we need is a clean, solid day. We don't need to have every shooter hit a personal best, we just need them to perform like they do in practice, and as they have in the past several matches. We've got the talent and the desire to compete with the best teams in the nation, and I totally believe in our athletes."
--Senior Tim Siemer shot an aggregate score of 1157, the fifth match in a row that he has scored above 1156. His consistency has been a real anchor for the team, and should be a critical factor in the Falcons' effort to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
--Junior Jess Palomba's score of 583 in the Air Rifle event was her fifth consecutive match with a score above 580. No other team member has shot above 580 in as many Air Rifle matches in the past two years.
--C4C Daniel Cannard established a Personal Record of 566 in the Air Rifle event.
--C4C Brian Jarrell shot 566 in Smallbore, also a Personal Record. In addition, his 199 X 200 in the Prone position, and his 97 X 100 in the Standing positions were personal bests for those elements of his match.