Oct. 5, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy rifle team began its 2013-14 season with a strong showing on Saturday in the first day of competition at the Navy Invitational. Facing off against VMI and John Jay at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range, the Mids finished first with 4,585 combined points. In smallbore, they totaled 2,267 points and in air rifle, the five Navy shooters combined for 2,318 points.
The Mids outscored VMI (4,517) by 68 points and John Jay (4,075) by 510 points to earn the victory.
"We didn't shoot nearly as well as I expected," said Navy head coach Bill Kelley. "I think it was a combination of it being the first match of the season and the uncertainty surrounding the match that effected our shooters focus today."
Individually, senior Steven Frazier (McDonough, Ga.) finished with a team-high 1152 combined points, as he shot a 574 in smallbore and 578 in air rifle to lead Navy.
With 10 underclassmen on its roster it was no surprise to see three of Navy's five shooters in each discipline come from first- and second-year Midshipmen.
In smallbore action, freshmen Dan Jonas (Allentown, N.J.) and Jordan DiPaola (Strasburg, Va.) finished second and third on Navy's squad with scores of 572 and 562, respectively. Jonas' score was the second-highest amongst all shooters, who competed in smallbore on Saturday. In the second frame of standing action, Jonas scored a perfect 100.
Jodi Cull-Host (So., Los Alamos, N.M.) and Alex Berry (Jr., Greensboro, N.C.) rounded out Navy's smallbore shooters with scores of 559 and 554, respectively.
In the air rifle portion of competition, Cull-Host led the way with a 586-point total, including three 99-point frames.
Sophomore Zach Gibson (Montrose, Colo.) was strong in his season-debut of air rifle as he finished with a 581-point score to finish second overall in the competition.
Following Frazier's 578, Jonas and his freshman classmate Brandon Pippin (Nashville, Tenn.) completed Navy's lineup of shooters in air rifle. Jonas finished with a final score of 573, while Pippin debuted with a 565 total.
"We won the match, which is our goal, but we will certainly have to shoot better in the future," said Kelley. "It's a little frustrating to have this kind of talent sitting here and to get off to this less than stellar start. I expect a significantly better performance tomorrow."
The Mids will be back in action on Sunday with the second day of action at the Navy Invitational. The Mids will take on Akron and SUNY Maritime beginning at 8 a.m. at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range.