TCU’s all-female rifle program is gearing up to start the 2013-2014 season with a long-term goal in mind.
The team has experienced success at the national championships seven seasons in a row and has a 41-match regular-season winning streak.
Coming off a NCAA championship win in 2012 and a third place finish last season, sophomore air rifle and smallbore shooter Kelly Bogart said the team’s focus this season is to uphold the legacy of TCU Rifle.
While trying to continue the program’s successful legacy, the Frogs will also have to navigate some changes to the team.
This season, rifle will join the newly formed Patriot Rifle Conference, which is the first time the team will be part of a conference.
TCU head rifle coach Karen Monez said the team’s affiliation with a conference gives them something else to work toward.
“It gives us another goal,” Monez said. “We’re trying to win that conference championship, and I think the team members are going to feed off that.”
Other teams in the conference include Air Force, Ohio State, Nevada, UTEP and Alaska.
The team is still transitioning after losing five seniors from last season, including three All-Americans. Two first-years join the team this season, one of which is the program’s first international athlete.
Sophomore air rifle and smallbore shooter Hannah Black said the change is going to pave the way for new team members to take initiative.
“They were leaders of the team, so now new people need to step up and lead the team,” she said.
Monez said she is looking forward to seeing who will step into those new leadership roles.
“I think the [first-years] last year had the opportunity to shoot at the national championships, and they’re looking forward to this opportunity of stepping up there and being the leaders on the team,” Monez said. “They’re welcoming it, and I look forward to seeing what they can do.”
In order to prepare for this upcoming season, rifle members continued to shoot over the summer. In fact, several Horned Frogs participated in competitions on their own.
“There’s a lot of good competitions during the summer,” Monez said. “The USA Shooting Nationals is a good opportunity to pick up a lot of match experience, which is going to help you in the long run.”
The rifle team was 10-0 during the regular 2012-2013 season, and Monez said she is confident this season will not be any different.
“This is a championship team, and I expect that we always will be,” Monez said.
The Frogs will compete in four straightaway matches to begin the season.
The first of those matches is Friday, Oct. 4 against the University of Memphis. The team then travels to Oxford, Mississippi on Oct. 6 to take on Ole Miss.