Rifle Holds First-Annual Invitational, Continues to Set Records
GRIFFIN, Ga. – The North Georgia College & State University rifle team held its First-Annual North Georgia Invitational this past weekend at the Ole Mill Range Complex in Griffin, Ga. The tournament, which was open to athletes of all ages, included three collegiate teams from Georgia including Columbus State University, the club team from Georgia Military College and NGCSU, along with numerous high school and middle school age rifle athletes.
The Ole Mill Range Complex is a USA Shooting Regional Training Center and offered the best location to hold the invitational due to the number of shooting stations.
Nationally-ranked Columbus State swept the collegiate category team and individual awards in the air rifle and smallbore (.22 caliber) rifle events. In the team events, North Georgia posted strong second place finishes in each event, while cutting CSU's lead in half since the last time they met. Georgia Military competed only in the air rifle event and finished in third place.
The NGCSU athletes who contributed to the team totals were freshman Casadie Bragg, cadet freshman Kyle Bailey, freshman Sara Howell and cadet sophomore and team captain Luke Duncan. Their combined scores also set two school records in the air rifle event and in the aggregate of the two events (air and smallbore).
In the individual events, Bragg posted a strong 577/600 in air rifle to take second place overall, tying her personal best and finishing only four points behind CSU's Julie Yoder. Bailey surged to seventh on the strength of his own personal best score, while Duncan finished 10th and Howell 13th.
In the smallbore event, Bragg and Bailey posted strong scores to finish third and fourth respectively. Howell finished seventh and Duncan 10th with several other team members posting personal bests during the competition.
Regarding the tournament itself, head coach Tori Kostecki commented, "This was our first invitational tournament, and our first set of matches at the Ole Mill range complex. We are very happy with how it went and are already planning for a much larger tournament next year, with attendance by a number of VIPs, including a member of the Board Of Regents. We are also expecting larger numbers of high school and collegiate athletes."
North Georgia will continue with their season this coming weekend as with the second Southeastern Rifle Conference competition of the season, this time held at Georgia Military College. The event will run from Saturday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 21 in Milledgeville, Ga.