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Pistol places sixth at championships

By Matt Machlis

The MIT varsity pistol team placed sixth overall at the ninth annual Intercollegiate Pistol Championships, held on April 7-8 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The Engineers' score of 6126 out of 7200 was the second-highest among non-military schools, behind only Oregon State University's 6151.

Eric C. Blau '91 was elected a member of the 1989 All-American Pistol Team for air pistol in recognition of his second-place finish in the individual competition. He also received All-American Honorable Mention for free pistol after finishing fifth in that event.

Blau was also chosen to be on the Olympic National Development team for the next year and will be competing at the World Airgun Championships in Sarajevo as a member of the US Junior Air Pistol team.

The scoring team, made up of Blau, captain Fred Chong '90, and co-managers Ken DeCanio '89 and Matt Machlis '89, competed in all three events (free, air, and standard pistol) by shooting one of the top ten scores in the nation in each of the three at the sectionals in February. Individually, Blau competed in free and air pistol, DeCanio in air and standard, Chong in air, and Isako Hoshino '89 in women's air pistol.

In free pistol, the team shot a 1972 out of 2400 to edge out the US Naval Academy for third place, with the Air Force Academy taking first and the Military Academy second. Despite losing a shot due to a gun malfunction, Blau shot a 523 to place fifth individually.

The competition in air pistol was quite intense, with no clear winner until the last few scores had been posted. Only 18 points separated the first-place team from the fifth. MIT shot a 2162 to place second, five points behind the Naval Academy.

Blau shot a 559 to place second individually. Machlis, although shooting with a borrowed gun after his own malfunctioned at the start of the course, managed to shoot his average, a 538. DeCanio and Chong shot 533 and 532 to place 23rd and 24th respectively. Hoshino, despite being sick, beat her previous match high with a 480 to place eighth in the women's individual competition.

In standard pistol, the entire team shot below their averages to place seventh. Decanio shot a 524 to place 19th individually.

Next year, Blau, Chong, Hoshino, and Machlis will be returning, and with the contributions of promising newer members such as Glenn Eswein '91 and Brad Spiers '91 the team should continue its medal-winning tradition.

(Matt Machlis '89 is a co-manager of the varsity pistol team.)