Navy Rifle Set To Compete At Great American Rifle Conference Championships
Feb. 28, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. - The Navy rifle team will shoot in its final competition of the 2013-14 season this weekend at the Great American Rifle Conference Championships. Beginning on Saturday, the Mids will shoot at Ole Miss' Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center in a two-day team championship event. The team smallbore shoot will be held on Saturday before the teams move over to the air rifle discipline on Sunday.
Scouting the Field
Nine teams will compete in Oxford, Miss. over the weekend for the chance to win the 2014 GARC crown. The "SEC" of rifle conferences, five teams shooting at this event will continue their seasons at the NCAA Championships in mid-March. In the final NCAA regular season rankings, West Virginia was atop the standings. The Mountaineers are joined by No. 3 Kentucky, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 6 Memphis and No. 7 Army as teams that'll compete at both the GARC and NCAAs.
The remainder of the GARC field includes No. 12 Ole Miss, No. 15 North Carolina State and No. 16 Akron, along with the No. 13 Navy Midshipmen.
During the regular season, Navy defeated Akron, 4610 to 4587 at the Navy Invitational in October and North Carolina State, 4627 to 4596 in November. The Midshipmen had strong efforts come up short in upset attempts versus Army (four points) and Ole Miss (19 points).
Of note, Akron is competing as a guest of the conference, as the Zips will become full-fledged members in 2014-15.
Last Time Out
The Navy rifle team closed out its regular season with a win over John Jay in the team's annual NCAA Qualifier match by a score of 4,597 to 4,039.
Sophomore Jodi Cull-Host led the Mids last Saturday with a 1,154 aggregate score courtesy of a 570 total in the smallbore and a match-high 584 in air rifle.
The freshmen duo of Dan Jonas and Nick Priftis performed strong versus John Jay, as they each recorded career-high scores. Jonas registered a match and individual high of 579 in smallbore, while Priftis increased his career-best air rifle score from 563 to 583.
Navy (2013/14 Season - Stats through 13 Competitions)
Highest Smallbore Average - Dan Jonas, 572.2
Highest Air Rifle Average - Jodi Cull-Host, 581.8
Highest Aggregate Average - Zach Gibson, 1,152.9
Team Smallbore - 2,314, at Uni. Of Sciences (1/17/14)
Team Air Rifle - 2,339, vs. Army (2/1/14)
Team Aggregate - 4,636, vs. Army (2/1/14)
Quoting the Coach
Coach Kelley on this weekend's GARC Championship ...
"This will be a great event that will have a strong NCAA Championship feel to it. With five of the eight GARC teams shooting this weekend moving onto the NCAAs, this level of competition will undoubtedly make us better. This is where we want to be, regardless of our win-loss record this year; our program is better for this challenge. Our kids are constantly raising their level of preparation and contest shooting as am I with my coaching and recruiting."
"We're very positive going into this weekend and know that this is our last match of the season so we look to leave it all on the line. If we can manage the mental part of this competition I have no doubt that we can improve off of last year's inaugural shoot at this event."