January 18, 2013

Rifle Team Members Vie for National Invitations

GRIFFIN, Ga. – Six members of the University of North Georgia mixed rifle team traveled to the Ole Mill Range Complex in Griffin, Ga. for the USA Shooting Junior Olympics State Championship this past weekend.

The competition was open to athletes under the age of 21 through the end of this calendar year. Top shooters nationally will be invited to the USA Shooting Junior Olympics National Championship to be held at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. later this spring.

Participating were freshmen Casadie Bragg and Sara Howell, Cadets Kyle Bailey, Andrew Abernathy and Ryan Moran, along with Team Captain sophomore Cadet Luke Duncan.

Bragg turned in two strong performances to pace the Saints. In women's air rifle, she posted a score of 386/400 to take second place and scored 555/600 for first place in the women's smallbore (.22 caliber) rifle event. Howell took third in women's smallbore.

The top shooter for North Georgia among the men was Bailey with a score of 574/600 in men's air rifle, placing him second, and 551/600 for first place in men's smallbore rifle. In men's air, Duncan finished sixth, Moran eighth and Abernathy 10th. Moran took second and Duncan fourth in men's smallbore.

USA Shooting determines participants to the national championship event based on nation-wide scores and in February will announce the invitation lists.

The Saints start the second half of their intercollegiate season this weekend, hosting a large Southeastern Rifle Conference (SEARC) tournament in the Hamilton Range on the Dahlonega campus. Air rifle will begin at 8:00 a.m. Saturday and run all day. The Athletic Department is hosting a cookout at the range for parents, boosters and alumni.

Sunday, several of the teams will compete in the smallbore event. Come see the team and the big electronic score board with live ranking and target image updates. Spectators are welcome both days and admission is free.