DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The North Georgia College & State University mixed rifle team hosted the Southeastern Air Rifle Conference season-opening tournament this past weekend with teams from Clemson University, The Citadel, Georgia Military College, 18th-ranked North Carolina State University and Wofford College all competing in the two-day tournament.
The event included all six schools competing in the air rifle competition on Saturday, Sept. 29. NC State, The Citadel and North Georgia all competed in the three-stance smallbore rifle competition on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Nationally-ranked NC State swept both team events in conference competition for the weekend with The Citadel claiming second, 21 points behind in air rifle and 76 points behind in small bore. North Georgia finished third as a team in both events.
The standings were the same in NCAA competition, except that NGCSU defeated the women's team from The Citadel. Clemson, Wofford and Georgia Military rounded out the team results in fourth through sixth place respectively.
In the individual competitions, freshman Casadie Bragg led the Saints in both events, finishing fifth in air rifle with 577/600 and seventh overall in smallbore rifle 549/600. Sophomore team captain Cadet Luke Duncan, freshman Cadet Kyle Bailey and freshman Sara Howell combined with Bragg to smash the school smallbore record set just last week, raising the bar another 26 points to 2,184. Those same four student-athletes posted an air rifle team score that was just two points below the school record set last week.
The combined air and smallbore team aggregate score was also a new school record.
Personal records were also broken this week, with Howell posting a new personal best in smallbore with a 544/600, while Bailey and sophomore Chris Tam posted new personal records in both air and smallbore. Bailey posted scores of 564/600 in the air rifle with a 545/600 in the smallbore. Tam had scores of 534/600 in air rifle and 514/600 in smallbore.
The tournament marked the debut of head coach Tori Kostecki as the conference director, and was the first competition held on North Georgia's new electronic scoring targets, including electronic athlete and spectator displays and a large screen electronic scoreboard. The electronic displays were a hit with family, friends, alumni and fans attending the competition.
The team returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 13 when they host the First-Annual North Georgia Invitational at the Ole Mill Range in Griffin, Ga., a USA Shooting Regional Training Center. The event will include college, high school, and junior club teams.