Coming up short in the bluegrass state

Coming up short in the bluegrass state

By Marling Engle, Rifle Writer

The 12th-ranked Akron Gold squad took to the road to visit the third-ranked The University of Kentucky Wildcats. Proving the No. 3 ranking was well deserved, the UK team defeated Akron, 4686 to 4615 out of the possible 4800 points. Coach Engle knew going into the match that Akron was outgunned, but in this sport the test for success is the continued improvement of the team.

“This may not have been a win, but I am very happy with the team performance and still doing the happy dance,” said Newt Engle, Zips rifle head coach.
Junior Tim Hopkins led Akron in the smallbore division with a hard fight but a well-earned 575 out of 600. Contributing to the success of the day was the three other Zips in the 570’s including sophomore Zach Strohl, freshman Julia Hatch and Liz Berlin who fired a career high of 573.

The air rifle competition landed sophomore Zach Strohl and junior Matt Chezem to lead the Zips with a pair of 587’s and the elite 580s, with an impressive performance, was freshman Julia Hatch.

“Here is how impressive these athletes are,” states coach Engle. “Strohl is using a rifle we had welded together after his stock broke, and Hatch’s air rifle broke while at Navy. But even using borrowed and patched together equipment and they still are team leaders. How cool is that.”

The UA Blue team hosted a match against John Jay College of NY in the same weekend where they dominated a young John Jay team by a score of 4518 to 4082.

Top performers for the Zips Blue squad were junior Tori Templeton who shot 571, followed by sophomore Connor O’Mara (566) and sophomore Alyson Sylvester (556). The top three Zips in air rifle all broke into the 570’s, which included three sophomores Crystal Reynolds (573), Connor O’Mara (572), and Megan Pemberton (570).

“At this rate, these Blue team leaders may have just hit Gold,” coach Engle said.

The Zips rifle team will take a week off until Saturday, Oct. 25 where they will host the first ranked Fighting Mountaineers of West Virginia University. The matchup will start at 9 a.m. in the marksmanship training facilities located in the lower level of Schrank Hall South.