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No. 16 Navy Rides Strong Air Rifle Showing To Victory Over USP

Zach Gibson shot a career-best 589 in air rifle on Saturday.

Jan. 18, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, Pa.  - The Navy rifle team closed out its opening weekend of second semester action with another strong showing at the University of Sciences on Saturday. Shooting at the Colonel William Shea Rifle Range, the No. 16 Mids finished the meet with a 4,622 - 3,992 victory over the host Devils. Sophomore Zach Gibson (Montrose, Colo.) led Navy with a career-high 589 in air rifle on his way to a 1,162 aggregate score.

After shooting a scorching 2,314 in smallbore on Friday, the Mids struggled in the three-positioned event on Saturday as they faded in the standing portion and finished with a 2,293 final score. Junior Alex Berry (Greensboro, N.C.) led the four counted scorers with a 575-point total. Freshman Dan Jonas (Allentown, N.J.) and Gibson finished as runners up to Berry with 573 scores, respectively. Senior Steven Frazier (Macdonough, Ga.) rounded out the quartet with a 572-point effort.

"Just like yesterday, our performance was a tale of two halves," said Navy head coach Bill Kelley. "After a solid start to smallbore in the kneeling and prone sections, we really struggled in the standing portion to bring down our overall score. We were much stronger in the air rifle today."

In the second half of Saturday's match, the Mids registered a cumulative score of 2,329 in air rifle on the strength of Gibson's 589 total. Berry and fellow junior Brandon Thompson (Shelbyville, Ky.) finished behind Gibson with scores of 581 and 580, respectively. Sophomore Jodi Cull-Host (Los Alamos, N.M.) finished fourth on Navy with a 575.



"Zach was outstanding today, increasing his score by 10 points from yesterday," said Kelley. "Alex was strong all weekend with a 580 today and a 578 yesterday. Brandon was a third highlight for us in air rifle, as I gave him the start as a counter and he came out with his second straight total of 580 or above [584 on Friday]."

"Overall, this was a good weekend for us," said Kelley. "We helped our cause in moving up in the NCAA point standings and likewise our chances of making the Championship in March. The stretch run of this season will be a test and difficult week in and week out for us. We just need to find that consistency and put together a smallbore performance like Friday and an air rifle performance like today, that would really be a complete outcome."

Navy will be back in action in two weeks when it hosts Army in the annual Star Meet on Feb. 1. Slated to begin at 8 a.m., the action will take place at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range.


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