Bears Fall at Ohio State

Hunter Blankenship
Hunter Blankenship

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Bears were back on the road this week at Ohio State. Coast Guard and Ohio State are one of the few schools that have both a Varsity rifle and Varsity pistol team and both squads traveled to Columbus for a rare double event worked out by Head Shooting Coaches Rick Hawkins, of Coast Guard, and Ohio State's Ryan Tanoue (rifle) and Emil Milev (pistol).

Both teams are close in national ranking, Ohio State at 12th and Coast Guard at 19th and that is how it played out. Junior Seth Strayer was the top gun for Coast Guard in smallbore posting a 573, which was the second highest score of the match. Hunter Blankenship, another junior shot a 567 in the Bears effort. Freshman Rose Reynolds battled the remnants of a cold, which had her sick in quarters earlier in the week, to back up the two upperclassmen with a 557. After suffering a weak kneeling, sophomore Bryce Sturtz struggled back with a match high prone score of 198 to finish out a with a 556. The Bear's 2253 was not enough to overcome a Buckeye 2289.

Strayer, who set three Academy records just last weekend, led off air rifle by breaking his own Academy Air Rifle record score by posting a 589, also the top score in the match. Sturtz rebounded from smallbore with a 581. Reynolds' 574 was a personal best as Blankenship rounded out the scoring four with a 573.

Strayer's aggregate of 1162 was the highest aggregate score in the match, the first time in living memory that a Coast Guard shooter has been preeminent against a D1 rival. Freshmen Berit Bedord and Reynolds recorded personal bests in the aggregate.

In the end Coast Guard, which shot a season high 4570, fell to Ohio State's 4629.

An interesting side event was a matchup between two former teammates from the Stratford Connecticut Police Athletic Junior Rifle Club, Coast Guard's Reynolds, 1131, and Ohio State's Miv Wilcoxson, 1133. It was a photo finish, the pair tied in air rifle, but Wilcoxson had a two point edge in smallbore.

Coast Guard is now 5-5 overall and undefeated in conference play.