The rifle team set two records last weekend in its four-team competition in Akron, Ohio, and expects to carry the momentum into this weekend’s competition at Texas-El Paso, players and coaches said.The Frogs finished second overall and broke their previous team record in both smallbore and air rifle with freshman Tanya Gorin leading the team in scoring in both events.
“They all performed well and were close to their best score,” head coach Karen Monez said.
Gorin scored a 578 in air rifle, finishing second overall in the competition. Her score, combined with senior Celeste Green’s 575, junior Nikki LeCompte’s 572 and junior Emily Conway’s 567 raised the team record eight points from its previous one set in October, according to gofrogs.com.
The team broke its smallbore record as well, increasing its overall score by five points, according to gofrogs.com.
Green and Gorin both said they think their momentum should carry over to this week’s competition, but that their performance depends more on themselves.
“You’re your biggest friend and your biggest enemy,” Green said.
Monez said she thinks the team is capable of improving its team score in both events, but that UTEP, one of the top 10 teams in the country, will provide tough competition.
“I think that we can keep pace with them in air rifle,” she said, but “in smallboard we don’t have the depth that they have.”
Monez said the girls train at least four days a week. Each day, a shooter comes in and identifies her specific goal she will work on during practice, Monez said.
“You have to be very analytical to be a top shooter,” Monez said. “You have to be able to challenge what’s happening and what needs improvement.”
Green said she has been working on fixing mechanical problems she had in the last competition and that the sport is mainly based on muscle memory and self confidence.
After shooting the highest individual score for the Frogs in both events, Gorin said, the only pressure she feels is from herself and that she focuses on “thinking about the perfect shot.