October 1, 2011

Cadet Parsons Leads Rifle in Defeat of Citadel in NCAA Competition

Contact: Joey Daniels, jddani9448@northgeorgia.edu

DAHLONEGA, GA - North Georgia College & State University hosted the season-opening tournament of the Southeastern Rifle Conference this past Saturday, defeating both the men's and women's teams from rival The Citadel in NCAA competition.

In the 60-shot Olympic air rifle event, fired from the standing position with no support, North Georgia posted a score of 2232 out of 2400; with 2212 for the Citadel men and 2156 for the Citadel women. North Carolina State posted 2246 points to pass North Georgia by 14 points. In the NCAA competition, the Saints also defeated Wofford, who shot a 2161.

Cadet Matt Parsons (565 out of 600) and team captain Becca Bryan (562) led North Georgia in scoring. Freshmen Luke Duncan (553) and Cadet Chris Tiller (552) followed closely behind to round out an excellent performance by the North Georgia team.

In the individual competition, Cadet Parsons finished fifth, Bryan seventh, Duncan fifteenth, and Cadet Tiller 16th, in the strong field of 39 competitors. Brand new walk-on Brandon Heidman, with one month of training, posted a very strong development score and Jason Crawford did well in his first match after rejoining the team upon his return from off campus studies the past two years.

In league competition, the combined men's and women's league team from Citadel tied North Georgia with 2232 points and slipped passed for second place on a close tie-break. North Georgia defeated Clemson (2214), Wofford (2161) and Georgia Military College (2134) in the league competition.

 On Sunday, North Georgia hosted their first small-bore rifle match of the season. This 60-shot Olympic event is fired with 20 shots each in the prone, standing, and kneeling positions. Sunday's team competition included NC State, The Citadel and North Georgia.

In the individual competition, Cadet Parsons came away with the win in a close battle with Will Teller from NC State, who took second just one point behind Parsons.

In the team competition, NC State prevailed; Citadel men were second and the North Georgia team posted third, despite having only two team members with prior small-bore experience. The Saints defeated The Citadel women and Wofford teams.

The aggregate (air and small-bore) team results almost mirrored the small-bore results with NC State prevailing as expected. However, North Georgia and Citadel men tied for second,  again the tie break went to Citadel.

Coach Tori Kostecki, a graduate of North Georgia in her first year of full-time coaching, was very pleased with the results and the operation of the tournament.

"Everything ran smoothly, the team and members of the Corps of Cadets all did whatever was needed to welcome our guests and ensure the tournament was a success, and the team performed very well. Adding a full small-bore schedule is a big deal. Our team has really improved in both air and small-bore, especially considering our limited practice time and experience level of some of our athletes. Smallbore is very new to some of them. Everyone is doing a great job and I am ecstatic with where we are so far this season." said Coach Kostecki.

Two years ago, coach JP O'Connor and then team captain and student assistant coach Kostecki arranged for the team to participate in two small-bore matches that year as a preliminary step to eventually returning small-bore to the NGCSU program. Now, as an NCAA Division II team, coach Kostecki has successfully reinstated the small-bore program after a hiatus of over a decade and has a full slate of matches on the schedule. This is another major step in returning the North Georgia intercollegiate program to full participation in NCAA intercollegiate rifle competition.

North Georgia competes next weekend in the second league tournament series event and NCAA competition at The Citadel.

Information provided by Tori Kostecki, Head Rifle Coach