Feb. 18, 2013
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. - On Feb. 16, the Air Force Academy rifle team lost an NCAA qualifier match to No. 2 TCU 4682-4634 in Fort Worth, Texas. Meredith Carpentier was the Falcons’ highest scorer, finishing third in smallbore with 589 points. She finished fourth in air rifle with 578 points.
“Meredith continues to lead the team and shoot just about as consistent as you possibly can. When things start to get tough, she keeps it under control and puts the focus into the areas she needs to get and keep the performance on track,” said head coach Launi Meili.
The Falcons’ smallbore squad scored a total 2298 points, while the air rifle team had 2336 points.
“David Higgins also tied his season best in the most important match of the year so far, the qualifier, and again helped the team finally make it to the championship,” said Meili. Higgins finished fifth with a 577 in smallbore. He was the Falcons’ fifth highest shooter in air rifle totaling 574 points. He scored a perfect 100 in the smallbore prone position.
Matt Kluckman finished with a total of 567 points in smallbore and 566 in air rifle. Craig O’Daniel finished with a 569 in smallbore and 576 in the air rifle. Tyler Rico fired a perfect 100 in the first round of the smallbore prone. He totaled 576 points in the match. He finished with 587 points in air rifle. Kevyn Stinett scored 562 points in smallbore and 586 points in air rifle. She also scored a perfect 100 in the third round of air rifle.
All designated qualifier matches shot this past weekend were shot according to the NCAA Championship format and rules (teams composed of five shooters (count four) who shot both smallbore and air rifle). Team results from the regular season and the qualifier will determine the final team average. Teams selected to compete will be announced on Feb. 20 and individual selections will be announced on Feb. 21. The NCAA Championships are on March 8-9 at Ohio State in Columbus.
Air Force has participated 12 times in the NCAA Championships from 1980-2003. In 1995 and 1996, Air Force finished second and finished in third place in 1993. The last time Air Force participated was in 2003 and finished 10th.
Team Sportsmanship: “Matt Kluckman had a great performance at the qualifiers (Feb. 16). We needed him to step up and he did in a very big way,” said Meili. “On his fourth shot in standing (smallbore), he had a bullet that sounded like it didn’t have the right amount of powder in it, and sure enough, the shot hit way below the target. There wasn’t sufficient gun powder to get the bullet onto the target and the score came back a “zero”.”
Meili continued, “The rules state that any projectile that comes out of the rifle will count for a score, even if it doesn’t hit the target and everyone knows it was a bad round. You can’t have a situation where blame can be placed on the ammunition, so every round out of the barrel counts in the overall score. So even with the zero, Matt didn’t let it get to him and he still scored 567. It should have been a 577 if his shot was a 10, so he hung in there and ended up still shooting a score we used in the overall team score to help us make it to nationals.”
Air Force’s Collegiate Season Records (2012-2013):
Air Force set a team record on Jan. 12 when it beat Nebraska 4658-4643.
The smallbore squad set a record on Jan. 12 with 2311 points against Nebraska’s 2303.
In air rifle, the team set a 2353 record on Feb. 2 against Reno’s 2319.
Individual Personal Best:
So. Meredith Carpentier, 591/600 (twice) (Feb. 2, Feb. 9)
Fr. Tyler Rico, 592/600 (twice) (Oct. 12-13)
Fr. Kevyn Stinett, 589/600 (twice) (Nov. 4, Jan. 12)
Fr. David Higgins, 588/600 (Feb. 2)
So. Craig O’Daniel, 582/600 (Oct. 28)
Sr. Matt Kluckman, 584/600 (Oct. 13)
Carpentier, 587/600 (Jan. 27).
Rico, 577/600 (twice) (Jan. 27, Feb. 9)
Stinett, 582/600 (Jan. 12)
O’Daniel, 580/600 (Oct. 13)
Kluckman, 576/600 (Oct. 27)
Higgins, 577/600 (twice) Oct. 12, Feb. 16)