After winning seven season matches and having an aggregate average of 4,700.00, the TCU rifle team has remained ranked No. 1.
Head coach Karen Monez said the team set new records at just about every match in the aggregate scores or in the individual air rifle and smallbore competitions.
“Its been a pretty spectacular year,” Monez said.
Junior Sarah Beard said one highlight was junior Sarah Scherer shooting a perfect score of 600 at the match against the University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
Scherer was the second woman in NCAA history to accomplish that feat in air rifle.
“Expecting the best I can do for each shot, that’s been a big mental change,” Scherer said.
The team also broke the school record for the highest aggregate score twice by scoring a 4,701 Nov. 6 against Murray State and then a 4,703 last Saturday against Kentucky. This season’s past matches brought personal best scores to complement the multiple team accomplishments.
Junior Caitlin Morrissey and Beard shot new personal bests in two separate smallbore matches, and sophomore Jaime Dowd saw a new personal best in air rifle.
Monez said the goal for the team members was always to walk away and say they performed at their best. She said that for the majority of the fall semester, the women had individually performed at the top of their skill level.
Beard said she was now able to separate her negative and positive feelings while shooting, which she applied to the NCAA matches in the fall.
Dowd said most people did not understand rifle, but explained it as trying to hold something in the same position for two hours and aiming to hit the period at the end of a sentence.
Scherer said, “People don’t understand our sport and what it takes. We have a unique thing that people should come and see.”
This year will mark the sixth that TCU will go to the NCAA Championships in March.
The TCU rifle team follows the International Shooting Sport Federation rules, the same rules as teams competing in the Olympics.
The air rifle is a .177 caliber weapon. Team members stand 10 meters away from the target.
The .22 caliber smallbore is a bigger weapon than the air rifle. When shooting, rifle team members shoot 50 feet from the target, from three different positions: standing, prone (lying down) or kneeling.
In both competitions, team members have 60 shots.
On a square target, shooters aim at a small circle, and score higher the closer to the center they shoot.