CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Often times shooting on the road has been tough traveling for Coast Guard Rifle this year and it was no easier when the team traveled to MIT for the annual two-day Beanpot tournament and the National Rifle Association Collegiate Rifle Sectional.
The NRA Sectional was piggy backed on the first day of Beanpot competition as the Bears got off to a slow start ending up with a below average 2185 in smallbore competition, a full 20 points behind MIT's 2205 which gave the Engineers the Smallbore Sectional title. Captain Nick Paisker led Coast Guard with a 557, which earned him the bronze individual medal in the Smallbore Sectional. He was supported by sophomore Lindsey Critser's 545, and a pair of freshmen, Alexandria Harrington, 542, and Skye Ambrose, 541.
As every mariner knows, a stern chase is a long chase, and Coast Guard, defending its Air Rifle title, rallied to retain the title behind an unusually strong effort by freshman Randall Ford who posted a career-high 578 which gave him the silver individual Air Rifle Sectional medal. The team put together a 2290 with Paisker scoring a 575, Harrington a 574, and Critser a 563.
At the end of the first day the Bears were behind but had closed the 20 point gap to just eight points to stay competitive for the second day.
The opening Smallbore match saw the Bears shoot ten points better than the day before, 2195, but fall to an MIT team that was on a roll and put up a 2212. MIT did not let up and shot a 2286 in Air Rifle to seal the fate of the Bears who could only muster a 2252. The defeat, in the last conference match of the season, marked Coast Guard's only conference loss this year.
While it was a disappointing outing, Coast Guard's loss was made a bit less painful by the Sectional team and individual victories and personal bests put up by upcoming freshman Jacob Dupree, Ambrose, and Ford.
The Bears are now 9-9 overall and 8-1 in conference play. They next see action in the NCAA Qualifier to be held at the Chase Hall Range Complex on February 20th.