The defending national champions will shoot for back-to-back national championships this weekend 8212; literally.
The TCU women’s rifle team was one of eight squads to qualify for the 2011 NCAA Rifle Championships hosted by Columbus State University on March 11-12. The Frogs will have a chance to defend their crown with the unique privilege of being the only all-girls squad to win a NCAA Rifle Championship.
The Frogs finished their 2010-11 season with a 4,699-4,620 win over Air Force in an NCAA Qualifier.
The win over the Falcons marked the Frogs’ 23rd consecutive win before heading into the NCAA Championships.
In preparation for the championship, head rifle coach Karen Monez said the team is coming into the rifle range day after day to practice its shooting. Shooting daily is what drives them to reach that section, she said.
Sophomore Sarah Scherer said there is a lot of preparation that goes into a national championship. Walking through the competition is a good way to get ready, she said.
“You have to mentally prepare yourself for that unique circumstance.” Scherer said. “Visualization and how you put yourself in that moment and performing well, and it helps get over any extra pressure.”
Monez said the Horned Frogs are riding a tremendous performance into the national championships with an undefeated season. The rifle team has not lost a match in over a year.
“It’s been a great season and throughout the season they have set personal records and reached their goals just about every competition.” Monez said.
Scherer, a sophomore nutrition major, has been a big contributor to the overall success of the team.
She was one of TCU’s January Scholar-Athletes of the Month, named one of TCU’s Athletes of the Week in October and was the USA Shooting Athlete of the Month for January.
In preparation for the upcoming championship, Scherer said she has improved individually and the team has improved as a whole. After having one title under her belt, Scherer said she has confidence going into the national championship.
“This year I’m trying to be a little more critical with my position and shooting technique,” she said. “It has helped me almost feel more ready, more prepared because I know I have walked through all the steps and have been more critical with my shooting.”
Sarah Beard, a sophomore biology major, has been another great contributor to the team’s success and will be one of the team members going to the championships.
Beard said the team has improved as a whole by gaining more experience.
“We know each other coming into the season this year and have become a family in many ways,” Beard said.
For this upcoming match, Beard said they are approaching this match the same way they have in the past: with confidence knowing that they are one of the best teams.
“We don’t get too wrapped up in our scores,” Beard said. “We approach it as, “I am going to try as hard as I can and if it’s not a good score it’s not a good score.'”
NCAA Rifle National Championships
When: March 11-12 all day
Where: Columbus, Georgia
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