The Horned Frogs traveled to Mississippi on Sept. 27 to start their season at the Ole Miss Invitational. The invitational provided the Frogs an opportunity to start their season with a bang of their .22 caliber rifles by not only finishing first, but by breaking a university record.
The Frogs scored a combined 4707 points in this match, beating their previous record of 4703 set last year in a match against Kentucky. This is the highest amount of points earned in a match in TCU history. It is also the second highest amount of combined points earned in any match in NCAA history. The frogs are trailing just four points behind Kentucky’s record of 4711, made last season.
Sophomore Claudia Duksa said she thinks this year they could beat that record. And with their record-breaking season starter, she could be right.
“I think it’s going to be a strong [team] again and we’re going to continue on. We’ve got strong freshmen stepping up,” Duksa said.
Kelly Bogart is one of those freshmen stepping up, and with an Olympic teammate to look up to, she is aware she has big shoes to fill. As for other schools, Bogart said she doesn’t worry too much about competition.
“Rifle is individual, you focus more on improving your own score and beating your own score. In that you end up challenging yourself more.” Bogart said.
The team doesn’t choose an MVP for each game. However, Bogart and Duksa said if they could choose one for their first match, Sarah Scherer would be it.
“Sarah Scherer only dropped seven points out of 1200. I don’t know what that is in a fraction, but it’s really small,” Bogart said. “She’s consistent.”
Scherer is tied for the highest individual points in NCAA air rifle shooting, and the TCU rifle team is now just four points from joining her at the top.
In a rifle match each shooter has two hours to shoot in three different positions. These include prone, which is lying on the stomach, standing and kneeling. Each individual starts with 1200 points and loses points depending on inaccuracy to the target.
At the end of the match the total number of points for each team is added together, and for TCU, this meant taking home first place and a new university record high for combined points.
The Frogs fly to South Carolina Thursday to meet The Citadel. Though The Citadel is a military college, Kelly Bogart said the TCU rifle team doesn’t really have any rivals; they’re just that good.
The Citadel head rifle coach William Smith shared the same sentiment in his statement about meeting TCU this week.
“I enjoy having TCU visit our range to shoot. It gives us a chance to compete against the best collegiate shooters. Having a top-level team visit helps to improve our program by allowing my shooters a chance to compete against Olympic and Pan American caliber competition,” Smith wrote in an email.
As the Frogs continue to move up in personal and national records, they’re beating everyone’s scores, even their own. And they’re making more fans than rivals along the way.
“The level of skill and sportsmanship exhibited by TCU is exciting to watch,” Smith wrote.