Navy Rifle Earns GARC Win Over Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Navy rifle team began its 2017-18 season on Sunday in impressive fashion as the nation’s 14th-ranked team went on the road and knocked off No. 11 Memphis in a Great American Rifle Conference match by 39 points at 4634 to 4595. In the first competition for the Mids under first-year head coach Mike Anti, the team posted a 2,297-point output in smallbore and a 2,337-point result in air rifle. Junior Josh Watson (Enterprise, Ala.) highlighted Navy’s performance with a career-high 1,167-point aggregate score.
Watson led the Mids’ smallbore lineup with a career-best 582 score in the three-position shoot. Freshman Luke Knollinger (Wheeling Park, W.Va.) showed strong in his collegiate debut as he posted Navy’s second highest score with a 574 effort. Knollinger’s classmate, Torrance Kang (Columbia, Md.) recorded a 571 to rank third in Navy’s lineup, while Kestrel Kuhne (So., Everett, Pa.) was the fourth counter as she closed out her 60-shot smallbore performance with 570 points.
Up 16 points after smallbore, Navy sealed its victory with a 24-point advantage in the second half of the match in air rifle. Watson once again was the top-scorer for the Mids, though he had company for the team’s top spot on Sunday as both he and Kuhne posted matching 585-point scores. Team captain Thomas Sarant (Sr., Massapequa, N.Y.) was one point back with a 584. Daniel Enger (Fr., Walla Walla, Wash) rounded out Navy’s counting lineup with a 583 in his first collegiate match. Kang and Knollinger gave the Mids’ six shooters with scores of 580 or better as Kang came in with 582 and Knollinger a 580.
In terms of aggregate scoring, Watson’s 1167 was 10 points better than the second-place finisher Levi Clark of Memphis. Watson’s previous career-high was 1163. The matches’ third, fourth, fifth and sixth-highest scorers all came from Navy in the form of Kuhne (1155), Sarant (1154), Knollinger (1154) and Kang (1153).
“For the first match of the season, I am pleased with the result and the team’s performance,” remarked Anti. “We are at a good place for the beginning of the season and we are excited to continue improving as the season progresses. This match was a great indicator of our strengths and weaknesses so we can focus our training in those areas.
“Overall, I was very proud of our team’s performance, professionalism, sportsmanship and of course the win. Go Navy!”
Navy will step away from the line for a week before getting back into early season action at home versus the Coast Guard Academy on Saturday, Oct. 7.