TCU hosted two of the top eight rifle teams in the country, and both finished ahead of the third-place Shooting Frogs at the five-team Horned Frog Invitational over the weekend.Tournament champion Nevada set the pace with a combined score in the air rifle and .22-caliber smallbore competition of 4,644, Texas-El Paso came in second, shooting a 4,591, and the Frogs finished 169 points of the pace with a score of 4,475. Texas A&M and New Mexico Military Institute ended the weekend in fourth and fifth respectively, well off the winning mark.
TCU head coach Karen Monez said the team had a mixed performance over the weekend.
“In smallbore, we made some good progress,” Monez said. “In air rifle, we had some rough spots and we’ll be back on the training range next week to make some adjustments to equipment and positions.”
Monez said some Frog shooters posted impressive individual scores.
“Nikki LeCompte had a very good smallbore score, and Emily (Conway) set a personal high for her first 40 shots air rifle,” Monez said. “She shot a 380 (out of 400) for her first 40 shots, and that was a goal that she had set and had been working for some time, and she accomplished that.”
LeCompte shot a school-record 566 out of a possible 600, the ninth-best individual score, in the smallbore competition, and Conway completed TCU’s top performance in air rifle, notching a 568.
Former All-American Celeste Green shot an aggregate 1,167 to lead TCU in the tournament, but she said she did not have her best shooting weekend.
Green, who started her career at TCU, returned to Fort Worth this year after being medically discharged at West Point. She did not shoot in her time away from the Shooting Frogs.
“In .22, I didn’t meet my expectations, but then once again, coming back from off time, it was pretty good,” Green said. “I’m looking to see some big improvements in the next couple months.”
Freshman Aida Garcia said she was disappointed in her performance in the air rifle, but said she thinks the team will be able to build on facing fierce competition.
“This weekend was a great learning experience, and it’s a great way to start out the season,” Garcia said. “I know we’re going to get real far this season.”
Monez said the team did not progress the way she hoped at the tournament, but said she realizes that the team features some young, inexperienced shooters, especially in the smallbore competition.
She said the only for her shooters to improve is to spend more time shooting.
“It’s back on the practice range,” Monez said. “We have another match in two weeks. We’re going to (Nevada), and so it’s going to be back to business.