Navy Sets School Record in 4683-4678 Win over N.C. State
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The No. 15 Navy rifle team had a match for the record books on Sunday as the Midshipmen set school records in aggregate and air rifle scoring as they came from behind to defeat No. 11 North Carolina State, 4,683-4,678. After shooting a season-high 2,323 in smallbore, but trailing the Wolfpack (10-7, 3-5 GARC) by one point, the Mids (3-3, 2-3 GARC) came out in air rifle and recorded 2,360 points to overtake their Great American Rifle Conference rival in the match at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range.
“This was a great day for the Naval Academy Rifle Team,” remarked head coach Mike Anti. “All of our athletes performed well and contributed to our win against N.C. State and fired a new team record in the process. I am very proud of this team. I always knew we could compete with the best collegiate teams and today they proved it."
Kestrel Kuhne (So., Everett, Pa.) and Torrance Kang (Fr., Columbia, Md.) spearheaded a Navy lineup that was clicking through all eight of its shooters on Sunday. Kuhne led the Mids with an aggregate score of 1,176 points, while Kang was four back at 1,172. Kuhne’s total was two shy of her career-high that was set on Friday, while Kang’s effort was a new personal-best.
Coming into the matchup with a season-high of 2,311 in smallbore, Navy dispatched of that total with ease courtesy of four shooters posting 578-point or better efforts. Kuhne and Josh Watson (Jr., Enterprise, Ala.) led the smallbore lineup with identical 582-point results. Daniel Enger (Fr., Walla Walla, Wash.) was one point off his teammates’ pace at 581. Kang was Navy’s fourth scorer with a score of 578.
Down at the match intermission to North Carolina State, 2,324-2,323, the Mids hit a gear never before seen in program history with their air rifle performance. Kuhne and Kang took the lead for Navy’s air rifle lineup as the duo dropped just 12 out of a combined 1,200 points as they both posted matching 594-point scores. That individual score is tied for third-best in Navy’s history, one off the record shared by Lisa Kunzelman (595, Feb. 7, 2009) and Matt Albright (595, Jan. 21, 2005). Following the efforts by Kuhne and Kang, Thomas Sarant (Sr., Massapequa, N.Y.) and Enger rounded out the Mids’ scoring lineup with respective totals of 587 and 585. Navy’s 2,360 in air rifle surpassed the previous school record of 2,353 by seven points.
Navy’s 4,683-point aggregate score is the highest in school history breaking the old mark of 4,674 shot on Jan. 27, 2006 versus the University of Sciences. The current NCAA scoring policy of 120 shots has been in use since the 2004-05 season. Also of note, Navy's score on Sunday would have ranked fourth-best at the 2017 NCAA Championship meet.
Navy will look to continue its strong start to the second half of its season next weekend with another GARC doubleheader. The Mids will host No. 1 West Virginia on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. before welcoming No. 8 Ole Miss on Sunday at the same time.