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MIT Pistol Victorious In Season Opener

By Jenny Y. Liao


MIT’s varsity pistol team continued its long history of success in the first match of the 2002-03 season. MIT pulled successes in all five events last weekend, living up to its reputation as one of the best collegiate shooting teams in the nation.

The team started out strong on Friday, with victories in open and women’s air pistol. Audrey S. Wang ’03 and Yin M. Chen ’03, both All-Americans, led the team in both events. Michael L. Horvath ’05, David R. Schannon ’04, and Anthony W. Scelfo ’04 rounded out the open-air scoring team for a victory of 2,160-2,132 against Coast Guard’s top-five shooters. Jenny Y. Liao ’03 completed the trio for women’s air, which finished with an even wider margin of victory.

MIT tallies five victories

The Engineers continued with strong showings in three .22 caliber events Saturday. In the morning Wang, (with a new personal best,) Chen, Scelfo, Schannon, and Bryan C. Yong ’03 won the free pistol match 1,935-1670. In the free pistol event, targets are placed 50 feet from the shooter, and bullets are fired with a single-shot gun.

The same five from Friday’s air match bested Coast Guard 2,008-1,960 in the standard pistol event. In standard, shooters fire a total of 60 shots, four five-shot strings in each of three timed categories. The five-shot strings are fired in 2.5 minutes, 20 seconds and 10 seconds.

The last event of the day was women’s sport pistol, similar to standard pistol but with a ‘dueling’ component. During the duel stage, women must aim and shoot at a target 50 feet down range in three seconds, with the shooting arms lowered at a 45-degree angle for seven seconds between shots. In this last event, top scorer Chen, Wang, and Liao brought MIT to a fifth victory, 1,614-1,574.

This year’s squad looks strong

The varsity pistol team regularly competes in the National Rifle Association Collegiate Nationals, and Coach Will Hart believes his shooters are well-prepared for so early in the season.

“The team is off to an excellent start, well ahead of last year’s first match performances,” he said. “We have a challenge with a powerful West Point team this week, but we will meet it and do well."