Rifle team fell to TCU in NCAA Qualifier Match
Feb. 14, 2011
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.-The Air Force Academy rifle team lost to TCU, 4699-4620, in the NCAA Qualifier Match on Saturday, Feb. 12, in Fort Worth. With only one regular-season match to go against Nevada-Reno, the rifle team is closing in on one its best season records in four years (9-6).
"TCU had a really good day," commented Air Force head coach Launi Meili. "We shot just below our season average and, unofficially, we came in ninth overall in the country." The final team scores from across the country will not be released for a few more days. Only the top eight teams can qualify for the NCAA Championships in March. In 2009-10, Air Force placed ninth overall.
In the Qualifier, Air Force scored 2285 points in smallbore and 2335 points in air rifle. Individually, senior Tom Chandler finished fourth with 580 points in smallbore. In smallbore, the three different positions: kneeling, prone and standing, Chandler fired a perfect 100 in round two of the prone position. Junior Mike Seery finished in seventh place with 571 points. Juniors Pat Everson finished ninth with 568 points and Kyle Phillips placed 10th with 566 points.
Coach Meili reflects on the season and Qualifiers: This whole season we were around ninth or 10th in the standings. In our final few matches we started shooting the kinds of scores that it would take for the team to get to nationals, so I was very hopeful we were on the upswing of all the hard work we had done over the season and that it was starting to pay off. The shooters gave it their all, but we really needed another score pushing 4640 to secure a spot in the top 8 for nationals. We shot a 4620, and that was not enough to finish the season like we had wanted.
We do not know the individual standings yet, but Chandler and Vasquez could have a chance with their individual scores to get an invite. We'll just have to see how things stack up when all the scores are compiled.
On Feb. 26, the rifle team will compete in a match against the University of Nevada-Reno.