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Pistol Team Gets Sixth in Atlanta Contest

By Brian Romo
Team Member

Over spring break the pistol team went to Atlanta, Ga. to compete in the Intercollegiate Pistol Championships hosted by the National Rifle Association. The event was held at Wolf Creek Shooting Park, the same range used in the 1996 Olympic Games. There was a total of three days of competition which involved schools from across the country. MIT placed sixth overall with a total score of 6019, only 13 points behind the Coast Guard Academy. West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy were the top three schools.

In the individual events, the Women's Air Pistol team, consisting of Tracey Ho '99, Jane Sohn '98, and Hattie Gruneisen '00, placed first with a score of 1068. Ho was second going into the finals with a score of 363, but outshot everyone else to place first overall, becoming the national champion in Women's Air with a final score of 454.4. Sohn was fifth going into the finals with a score of 359 and ended up placing 6th with a final score of 445.5. Gruneisen placed 13th with a score of 346.

The Free Pistol team, consisting of Daniel Yu '98, Pietro Russo '98, Ho, and Sohn, placed sixth overall. Yu shot a 492, Russo shot a 475, Ho shot a 487, and Sohn shot a 436 which tied MIT for sixth place with the University of Virginia. As individuals, Yu placed 16th, Ho placed 18th, and Russo placed 24th.

The Standard Pistol team, which included Cheewee Ang '01, Russo, Yu and Sohn, again tied for sixth place with a score of 1988. Ang shot a 474, Russo shot a 491, Yu shot a 510, and Sohn shot a 513. Russo placed 27th overall in Standard Pistol.

In Open Air Pistol MIT placed sixth with a score of 2141. The team for Open Air was made up of Yu, Russo, Ho and Gruneisen. Individually Russo placed 21st, and Ho placed 23rd with 536.

In Women's Sport Pistol all three shooters, Sohn, Ho and Gruneisen had gun malfunctions. All of the ladies did well in the precision portion of the event, where competitors are given six minutes to fire five rounds. But in the dueling portion, where the shooter has three seconds to fire a shot, all three shooters had a number of gun malfunctions. This resulted in a lower score and MIT placed fourth with Sohn shooting a 524, Ho shooting a 519, and Gruneisen shooting a 458. Ho placed 10th and Sohn placed 9th overall.

In addition, there were three MIT All-Americans this year. Ho was on the first team for Women's Air, Gruneisen was on the second team for Women's Air and Sohn was on the second team for Women's Sport Pistol. This was the first time MIT has had three female All-Americans. It is also the first time that the All-American honor has been given in the two Women's events. All three of these ladies, like the rest of the pistol team, had no prior pistol experience before coming to MIT.

The overall score for the team was calculated by adding the scores of the Free, Standard, and Open Air Pistol events. West Point placed first with a score of 6372, Navy's score was 6234, Air Force had a score of 6179, the Citadel scored 6070, followed by the Coast Guard Academy with a 6032. MIT's 6019 placed them just shy of beating the Coast Guard Academy.