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MIT shooters win sectionals

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By Jerry Martin

After finishing up their regular season last weekend with a victory over Norwich University in Vermont, the MIT pistol team turned in a similar performance Saturday, dominating the New England Collegiate Sectionals.

The Sectionals serve two purposes: they are the regional championships, and they are the qualifying matches for the National Intercollegiate Pistol Championships. Based on their sectional scores, the ten best teams and the top thirty individuals are invited to the Nationals.

MIT teams won all three events at this year's N.E. Sectionals -- the .22 caliber free and standard pistols, and the pellet-shooting air pistol.

The bright stars for the day were two MIT sophomores, Joe LaRocca and Kelvin Phoon. Phoon, a rookie shooter, was number four man on an MIT air team that set a new range record. LaRocca fired a career high to open the match with a gold medal in free pistol, followed by team manager Jerry Martin '86 for the silver and Jim McCauley '85 of the US Coast Guard Academy. Other members of the winning team were team captain Roberto Landrau '85 and James Lee '85.

Standard and air pistols told similiar stories, with Martin on top in standard by 21 points for the gold, and LaRocca and Landrau tied at 521. A tie-breaking procedure gave LaRocca the silver and Landrau the bronze. The fine shooting of fourth team member Warren Katz '86 gave the team an easy victory.

Air pistol finished the match in fine style, with MIT shooting its best score of the year to set a range record and win the match. Gold went to Martin, silver to LaRocca, who fired another career high, and bronze to McCauley. The top three were separated by only four points.

There will be about a two week wait until the scores are tabulated, but it is likely that MIT will qualify teams in all three pistols, and that several individuals will also qualify. The Nationals will be hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington (near Fort Worth) during spring break, giving the team a month to train.

(Editor's note: Jerry Martin is on the MIT pistol team.)