The TCU rifle team recently received upgrades to its rifle range for the first time in more than 40 years.
The TCU women’s rifle team, however, has not allowed aging facilities to hold them back from winning two national titles in two years. Now the same seniors who led 31 consecutive wins will spend their senior year practicing in a new, better lit, more professional rifle range.
“It has a cleaner look," head coach Karen Monez said. "And there’s more consistent lighting throughout the range, which helps with shadows. In shooting, lighting is first and foremost.”
Monez said there were also issues with lead in the range. Sometimes when a target was hit, lead would splatter back onto the range and possibly put athletes in danger, she said. Now the team has entirely new faceplates for their targets.
The rifle range consists of a large room with waxed gray floors, a purple shooting line at which the athletes must set up their gun within the shooting area, and ten targets each ten meters away.
According to Monez, the new waxy gray floors help reflect the ceiling lighting, which provides better light to more easily see the target. Three of the ten targets on the range are now individually lit, which makes a difference when these shooters are working in differences of half millimeters, she said.
Monez said she thinks the athletes’ consistent performance in recent years, such as winning two national championships, has brought focus to what they have accomplished and what their needs are. Still, Monez said the range was “very overdue for renovation.”
First year rifle athlete Kelly Bogart said she got the best of both worlds by coming into an established team, now also with brand new facilities. Bogart said of all the schools she visited before choosing to attend TCU, the Horned Frogs now have one of the better ranges in the collegiate realms.
“Poor facilities are very distracting," Bogart said. "It needs to be well lit and clean.”
Bogart said she not only chose to come to TCU because it is a school with a good rifle team, but also a school with strong academics. Now there is the rifle range to match, she said.