Air Force Rifle Season Preview

Sept. 22, 2010

The Air Force Academy rifle team returns in action against sixth-ranked University of Nebraska in Lincoln on Oct. 23. The team is expecting to open up strong against the Cornhuskers. Following the Nebraska match, the Falcons will travel to New London, Conn., Nov. 6, for the All-Service Academies (President's Day Trophy) Championships at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The Falcons will be looking to improve their 2009 third-place team finish against the Army, Navy and the Coast Guard rifle teams.

Between Nov. 20 and Jan. 22, 2011, the rifle team will host five straight matches at the USAFA Cadet Gymnasium rifle range. The first is Nov. 20 against UTEP. On Nov. 21, the team will host a match against the University of Nevada-Reno. On Dec. 2, the team from the nationally-ranked University of Alaska will travel to the Academy for a match against the Falcons. Following the winter break, the Falcons will host TCU, the No. 1-ranked team, on Jan. 16, and Nebraska on Jan. 22.

The remainder of the season is as follows: Jan. 29-30 at The Citadel; Feb. 10 and 12 at TCU and the NCAA Qualifiers/NRA Sectionals (Fort Worth, Texas), respectively. On Feb. 26, the Falcons will travel to Reno, Nev., for a match against the Wolf Pack.

Coming off a 6-10 season, the rifle team returns full strength with seven experienced marksman and four freshmen.

Meet The Team: Leading the Falcons is team captain Tom Chandler (Oak Harbor, Wash.) a senior. Last season, Chandler was AFA's top shooter in the 2010 NCAA Qualifier match against TCU with a 588/600 air rifle and 580 in smallbore. He broke two school team records during the President's Trophy Match at West Point and had the highest aggregate air rifle score for an AFA shooter with a 592/600 and the highest overall score of the match. Chandler is a three-time NRA All-American in air rifle and smallbore.

Also returning is junior Mike Seery (Oregon, Ohio) who is the school's first men's USA Shooting Junior National 50-meter prone rifle champion. He was also a member of the 2010 U.S. Junior World Championship rifle team that placed third in the 50m rifle prone men junior championships at the 50th ISSF World Championships in Munich, Germany. Seery had the highest team USA score with a 595 in the 50m prone and led the team in the win for the bronze medal.



The remaining varsity letter winners include sophomore Matt Kluckman (San Antonio, Texas) who had a season-high 566 in air rifle at the Winter Air Gun Championships. Junior Kyle Phillips from Stockbridge, Ga., also returns after scoring a season-high 584 in air rifle in the NCAA Qualifier at TCU. Phillips also had an 11th-place finish in air rifle (582) in the 10m Junior Air Gun Championships. Sophomore Ben York (Larkspur, Colo.) will be looking to improve upon his season-high 556 in the smallbore and 579 in air rifle, which he scored at the Air Force-TCU match.

Junior Pat Everson (Eagle River, Ark.) returns following a season-high smallbore score of 577 against Alaska-Fairbanks. He also scored an air rifle season high of 586 with a high 1158 aggregate in the TCU/NCAA Qualifier match; both scores are a career-best. Everson also finished 13th in the air rifle at the 10m Junior Air Gun Championships in December.

Junior Robert Vasquez (El Paso, Texas) is also returning from a successful season of shooting a 582/600 in smallbore at the season opener against Nebraska. He also shot a 576 in the air rifle against third-ranked West Virginia. At the home matches versus Nevada-Reno and UTEP, he finished in 10th place with a score of 578 in air rifle. In the four-man NCAA lineup at the President's Trophy Cup, he fired a 588 in air rifle. Air Force finished third in the event. Junior Jacob Daniels (Ladora, Iowa) returns as team manager.

The Freshmen: Joining the team are freshmen Alexis Todaro from Boston, Mass. Todaro is a Lake Braddock Secondary School graduate who lettered three times in rifle. Raleigh Cunningham from Fairfax, Va., also joins the team. Cunningham is a Robinson Secondary School graduate. At Robinson, Cunningham was a member of the State 3-Position Air Rifle Championship Team and the National Championships Team in both 3- and 4-position smallbore rifle in both 2009 and 2010. Joshua Daviscourt (Homeschool) is from Lone Tree, Colo. Stormy Sagmoen, is from Anchorage, Alaska, and a A.J. Dimond High School graduate.

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