The rifle team hopes to take an even bigger step toward becoming a nationally prominent program in 2008, its coach said.
“These girls are capable of winning a national championship,” coach Karen Monez said about this year’s team.
The Horned Frogs return their top four shooters from what Monez said was “by far our best year ever” last season.
Erin Lorenzen, Lauren Sullivan, Simone Riford and Emily Paper all qualified for the National Junior Olympic Championships. Lorenzen, Riford and Paper were also named All-Americans for their performances during the 2007-2008 season.
Monez said some of the team’s success has to do both with its experience and camaraderie.
“They’ve shot together for two years now,” Monez said. “And they have experience as a team and they work well together, supporting each other.”
The rifle team has undergone a quick turnaround since Monez took over as head coach in 2004. At the 2007 NCAA Rifle Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska, the Horned Frogs finished fifth overall.
Last year, the team improved by finishing third overall, just 35 points behind the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, which took home the title for the third consecutive year.
Lorenzen said the team hopes to be in the top two nationally when the season ends, including a first-place finish in the smallbore competition and a top-three showing in the air rifle portion.
The Horned Frogs’ new season begins Saturday. They will face the Wolfpack of Nevada-Reno in the Horned Frog Invitational at TCU’s rifle range, a tournament TCU has won each of the last two seasons.
FOR YOUR INFO
What: Rifle team’s first tournament
When: Saturday, all day
Where: TCU Rifle Firing Range