The weekend of October 29-30 was a busy one for the Akron Zips rifle team, as they traveled to the beautiful campus of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., for a doubleheader. Saturday’s competition featured Akron versus No. 16 Army and No. 19 North Carolina State, while Sunday was a dual match between Akron and N.C. State.
The three-way match on Saturday started out slow, with smallbore performing slightly below average. However, the strength of Akron rifle showed, with the team maintaining its lead even after N.C. State’s score set a new school record. However, during Sunday’s dual match against N.C. State, Akron rifle found the sweet spot, ending up with a game-winning 4695 score to defeat the Wolfpack for the second day in a row.
Nearly the entire Akron rifle team posted scores earning either career high or season high marks. Along with some stellar individual performances, the race to set a new school record in air rifle heated up during competition at West Point over the weekend. Akron sophomore Lex Kirk and freshman Andrew Duross both fired impressive 596 scores—only one point away from the school record (597) currently in possession by fifth-year senior Andre Gross.
On the N.C. State rifle team, three shooters cracked the top 10 individual aggregate performances at the three-way match. Leading the way for the Wolfpack was Kendall Goebel in fourth place with 1174, (air gun 588, smallbore 586), followed by Ben Salas in fifth place with the same, 1174 (air gun 586, smallbore 588). Rounding out the top three N.C. State shooters was Roman Karadsheh with 1168 (air gun 590, smallbore 578).
As for Army, the top shooter in the three-way competition was Anusha Pakkam, who scored 1173 in the aggregate (air gun 588, smallbore 585) to place sixth in the top 10 individual rankings.
The final team standings for the three-way match:
- Akron, 4678 (air gun 2360, smallbore 2318)
- N.C. State, 4676 (air gun 2347, smallbore 2329)
- Army, 4651 (air gun 2339, smallbore 2312)
The final team standings for the Akron vs. N.C. State match at West Point:
- Akron, 4695 (air gun 2373, smallbore 2322)
- N.C. State, 4662, (air gun 2352, smallbore 2310)
Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Top 20 Rankings
- 1 Alaska-Fairbanks
- 2 Texas Christian University
- 3 Ole Miss
- 4 Murray State
- 5 West Virginia University
- 6 Akron
- 7 Nebraska
- 8 Air Force
- 9 Navy
- 10 Kentucky
- 11 Ohio State
- 12 Memphis
- 13 Jacksonville State University
- 14 Morehead State
- 15 North Georgia
- 16 Army, Georgia Southern (tie)
- 18 Tennessee-Martin
- 19 North Carolina State
- 20 Citadel
Above rankings are current as of Monday, October 24.
With the schedule showing four weekends matches in a row, for the second time this season the Akron Zips rifle team will face the Murray State Racers. However, this meeting will take place on the range of the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio. The match begins at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 6.
Next up for the Army rifle team is the President’s Trophy Match that will be hosted by the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday, November 5, plus a match against Air Force the following day. As for N.C. State, the Wolfpack rifle team heads to South Carolina on Friday, November 11, to face the Citadel on the road.