The Horned Frogs rifle team will head to West Point, N.Y., to compete against the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia on Saturday. “West Point has one of the top college rifle teams, and it will be a tough competition for us,” said head coach Karen Monez. “However, we have a team aggregated score that is very competitive with West Point’s.”
The Frogs have not shot a shoulder-to-shoulder competition against either West Point or USP in several years, Monez said.
Freshman Simone Riford said she is hoping to try and shoot her personal average like she does in every competition, but she said she would also like to improve.
“Even though both teams are competitive, I have the same amount of nervousness as I always do,” Riford said. “They are both good teams, but I don’t think we should be intimidated at all.”
Riford said she has been sticking to her usual practice schedule for this tournament, which is about three times a week.
“We had a team meeting with the sports psychologist who has given us some good tips about our mental training aspect of practice,” Riford said. “Last week was tough for me because I was a little homesick, which made me lose focus, but hopefully, I’m over that.”
Sophomore Tanya Gorin said she does not think there is any added pressure when the team travels for competitions.
“I shoot better and have more focus in a place I am unfamiliar with,” Gorin said.
Monez said because the Military Academy has just installed the same target system as TCU, the range will be familiar, which will be an advantage for the TCU team.
All six players on the purple team, which is the team that usually travels, will be competing in West Point, N.Y., this weekend, Monez said.
“We want each player on the team to have good individual scores,” Monez said. “Higher individual scores means our team’s aggregated score will be higher.”
The team is very competitive in air rifle, but may not have enough depth for potentially high smallbore scores, Monez said.
Gorin said she expects to have improved her scores since the team’s competition in Austin on Oct. 28.
“It’s an individual sport,” Gorin said. “I’m basically out to beat myself.