October 27, 2012

Mixed Rifle Continues to Set Records Against Nationally-Ranked Cougars

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Continuing their relentless pursuit of excellence and improvement, the North Georgia College & State University mixed rifle team shattered school and personal records on Saturday, Oct. 27 while hosting nationally-ranked Columbus State University.

The Saints almost pulled off an upset in the air rifle event, with CSU's margin of victory only 15 points, narrowing what was a 52-point gap only two weeks ago when the two in-state Peach Belt Conference rivals last met.

The day started slowly for North Georgia, as the team's smallbore performances fell short of recent record setting levels, with a team total of 2140 out of a possible 2400. Columbus State turned in a strong performance to win with a 2238 total.

Smallbore is a demanding event both mentally and physically for the student-athletes as they shoot from three different positions in a timed setting. The three stances are prone or lying flat on the stomach, kneeling on one knee and standing.

The afternoon's air rifle event was the big surprise for the Saints. While the Cougars posted a solid 2304 score, four of the Saints posted new personal records to combine for a school record 2289 points which shattered the previous record set just two weeks ago by 32 points.

Setting new personal records while contributing to the new team school record were freshman cadet Ryan Moran (ninth, 559), freshman Sara Howell (eighth, 569), and freshman Kyle Bailey (fifth, 574).

Freshman Casadie Bragg, also with a personal record, led the team to the record setting team total and stunned the field with an excellent 587, earning a solid eight point lead for the individual win. She also broke her week-old school record with the performance.

Head Coach Tori Kostecki commented, "Everyone on the team is hungry to improve, and it shows in their work and in their scores. Several of the athletes had breakthroughs in their mental game and confidence in competition this weekend. Coming in a head-to-head match with a nationally ranked rival made it all the more satisfying for the team. We regularly compete with NCAA Division I schools and nationally ranked schools, so the team has set their goals high."

The Saints have a weekend off and then return to action in a Southeastern Rifle Conference (SEARC) tournament hosted at The Citadel on Saturday, Nov. 10 for air rifle and Sunday, Nov. 11 for smallbore. The following weekend the team will travel to Fort Benning, Ga. to meet Columbus State for the fourth time this season along with nationally eighth-ranked Memphis State.