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Pistol team ends season at nationals

By Jerry L. Martin

During Spring Break the pistol team participated in the National Collegiate Pistol Championship at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The match opened Thursday with the free pistol competition. The MIT free team of captain Robert Landrau '85, Jerry Martin '86, Joe La Rocca '87, and James Lee '85 placed sixth among the ten teams in the event.

LaRocca was high man on the team with a 507 out of 600 to place 12th in the field of 30 individuals.

Air pistol, a strong event for this year's team, took place on Friday. Landrau posted the highest score of his collegiate career, a 554 out of 600 to lead the team to a fourth place finish behind three military academies -- the Naval Academy, the Citadel, and West Point.

Rookie shooter Kelvin Phoon '87 turned in a solid score in his first national championships to round out the team of Landrau, LaRocca and Phoon.

Standard pistol was, at the same time, a disappointment and a success for the team. Martin fired his second highet match score ever, a 547 out of 600, to clinch fifth place in the nation.

The rest of the team was also hot, with Landrau, La Rocca and Warren Katz '86 combining with Martin to fire a team-high 2130. The score was only high enough, however, for a sixth-place finish.

For their perfromances, Landrau was named Honorable Mention to the all-American Air Pistol Team, and Martin was named to all three all-American teams -- standard, air and free pistol.

The collegiate season finished, team members will now turn their attentions to other local and national championships. LaRocca will be one of the top seeds in the state and national "junior" -- competitors 20 years or younger -- matches later this month.

LaRocca has been selected as New England's representative to the National Junior Invitational Air Gun Championships at the University of Arkansas at Fayatteville. He will try to best Martin and Landrau's performance of last year, when they took silver and bronze at these, the so-called "Daisy" Champs.

(Editor's note: Jerry Martin is the manager of the pistol team).