The golden shot

Chezem brings home the gold for UAs rifle team.

The University of Akron

Chezem brings home the gold for UA’s rifle team.

By Forrest Dukes, Sports Editor

Matt Chezem, a junior at The University of Akron, earned a gold medal for the rifle team in the 50-meter prone event at the USA Shooting National Championship at Fort Benning, Ga.

Head coach Newt Engle described the win as “complete jubilation.”

“This win was definitely earned. Matt has been in the shadow of many of our Olympic athletes for quite a while as he slowly and consistently kept inching up the ladder of success,” Engle said.

Chezem grabbed the lead by the end of the first day and never gave it up. Finishing with a score of 1,257.4, Chezem defeated Dan Lowe of the U.S. Army Marksmanship unit and Eric Uptagrafft, who was a 2012 Olympian.

“Going into the match I knew that I could shoot well enough to reach the podium, but I don’t think I really believed that I could win the entire event,” Chezem said. “I didn’t feel the flood of emotions that I was expecting. The complete jubilation that I was expecting never came. I was a little relieved, but the biggest thing that I felt was progress.”

“It is too early to make predictions, but I can say they all will train hard to provide our fans peak performance when it counts,” Engle said.

Chezem believes the future is bright. With this victory, Chezem is now eligible for the selection at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Championship in Granada, Spain. Ultimately, Chezem wants to make it to the 2016 Olympics and is ready for the work to make that goal.

“We will see what the future holds,” Chezem said.