Update - Air Force marksman hold their own at National Team Tryouts
Air Force Rifle Weekly Release
December 4, 2005
Air Force Rifle -- Jan. 14-15, 2006 at UTEP
This Week: The Academy's rifle team, now 4-4 overall, will resume competition on Jan. 14-15 in El Paso, Texas. The team will participate in a match against 12th-ranked UTEP. The last time the two teams met was at the Academy on Nov. 19, 2005. Freshman Clifton Mulkey was the Falcons' top shooter in air rifle (587) and senior Chris Hill led the Falcons with a 583 in smallbore. The Falcons won the match, 4641-4604, and set a new team record.
Last Time Out: On Dec. 2-3, the Falcons competed in the 2005 National Team Tryouts (three times air rifle) held at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
On Friday, senior Tim Siemer shot a 578/600. His consistency in shooting made this the third match in a row that he has fired a 578 or higher. Mulkey was one of the Falcons' high scorers for the fourth time this season with a 577/600. Junior Jessica Palomba shot a 386/400 and freshman Chelsea Welsh shot a 385 in the women's tryouts. "Chelsea's scores were a phenomenal improvement over her previous outings," commented assistant coach Lt Col. Bill Roy. Welsh's score on Friday (385) placed her seventh among the junior women category.
One Falcon set a new personal mark, freshman Ryan Lowenstein shot a 557/600. Sophomore Justin Raines fired a 563 and freshman Daniel Cannard finished with a 548. Hill, who did not finish the event due to illness, had a 467. Sophomore Jenn Hassan fired a 377/400 in the women's tryouts.
During Saturday's trials, Palomba fired a 388/400 from the line, while Welsh shot a 381/400. Mulkey ended the day with a 580/600. Also at the line on Saturday were Raines, Lowenstein and Cannard. Saturday's results will be posted on this site when they become available.
About the Trials: The trials was a sanctioned tryout for the USA Shooting Team and no collegiate or NCAA team scores were awarded. The event hosted several accomplished shooters--Olympic medalists, champions, and world record holders as well as members from the U.S. Military Academy, University of Kentucky, UTEP, and Alaska-Fairbanks rifle teams.
AFA's Top Marksman (Trials):
Air Rifle -- Day 1 (Men)
1. Tim Siemer (578)
2. Clifton Mulkey (577)
3. Justin Raines (563)
4. Ryan Lowenstein (557 PR)
5. Daniel Cannard (548)
6. Chris Hill (467)
Air Rifle -- Day 1 (Women)
1. Jess Palomba (386)
2. Chelsea Welsh (385)
3. Jenn Hassan (377)
Air Rifle -- Day 2 (Men)
1. Clifton Mulkey (580)
2. Justin Raines (not available )
3. Ryan Lowenstein (not available)
4. Daniel Cannard (not available)
Air Rifle -- Day 2 (Women)
1. Jess Palomba (388)
2. Chelsea Welsh (381)
New Personal Records: In his quest for excellence, Lowenstein, a freshman walk on, set a personal best during Friday's trials when he shot a 557/600 on Dec. 2.
Team Scores: N/A
AFA's Rifle Record: The rifle team is now 4-4 overall.
From The Team: On the National Team Tryouts: "It was an amazing experience for our younger shooters to compete against some of the best shooters in the world. On the line today were Olympic gold medalists, world champions, and world record holders. Yet a couple of our shooters fought their way into the top 10 in their category. We definitely were not intimidated--if anything, we were motivated to shoot to a higher level, said senior Tim Siemer.
From junior Jess Palomba, "Coach [Roy] has been training us to squeeze every point out of the match that we can, shot by shot. That is what I tried to do--just make every shot count from start to finish. After the 40 shot match, I felt like I could shoot 20 more targets and hit every one of them in the middle."
"I felt really good about my shooting today. I always give it my best effort, but today I was just working for every single point, one at a time. I wasn't really thinking about the overall score; I was just trying to make each shot count," added freshman Clifton Mulkey.
From freshman Chelsea Welsh, "After I finished the match, I thought: shooting is a lot like life . . . we can focus on each shot or opportunity and really make them count, or we can sort of wander indifferently into our endeavors, and then be surprised and disappointed when we don't have anymore chances to succeed. Today I tried to take the path of focus."
From the Coach: On the National Team Tryouts: "I felt an amazing sense of pride as I watched our shooters today. Looking up and down the line, I could see some of the most accomplished shooters in the world--Olympic medalists, champions, and real legends--and yet our team members blended right in with the best. They may not realize it yet, but shot by shot, these kids are building their own legacy," said assistant coach Lt. Col Bill Roy.
Head coach Justin Broughton: Head coach Justin Broughton is in his seventh year at the helm of the Air Force rifle team. In October 2005, Broughton became the first-ever civilian rifle coach. Broughton is a 1994 Air Force Academy graduate. He was a four-year letter winner, team captain and 1994 honorable mention All-American. Coaching the Academy's rifle team since 1999, Broughton's teams have amassed a 77-136 team record with two top 10 team finishes. During this time, the Falcons competed at the NCAA Championships in 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2004.