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Pistol Defeats USMMA, Loses To Coast Guard Academy Twice

By Jenny Y. Liao

TEAM MEMBER

MIT Pistol recently competed in two important matches, tallying a decisive win and a narrow loss the crucial weeks leading up to the National Rifle Association sectionals, in which the team lost by a 10-point margin.

In late January, the varsity squad hosted a small team from Unites States Merchant Marine’s Academy (USMMA). Though many of the team members were newly back from IAP vacations, graduate school interviews, and other activities, MIT's performance was characteristically strong, with an aggregate score of 6,234 -- just six points lower than the season’s best score against Army. USMMA, with a much smaller and generally less-experienced team, lost all five events (two by default, for lack of a women’s squad).

In Sport Pistol on Friday, Yin M. Chen, Audrey S. Wang, and Jenny Y. Liao, all seniors, posted very strong scores despite winning the event by default. Their aggregate score of 1,636 is an impressive season’s best.

Saturday saw additional victories in the remaining four events. MIT’s scoring team Chen, David S. Schannon ’04, Wang, Tony W. Scelfo ’04, L. Michael Horvath ’05, shot an aggregate score of 2,183, besting USMMA’s 1,915. The same scoring team shot 1,981 in Free Pistol vs. USMMA’s 1,685, and won Standard Pistol by a 152-point margin.

Coast Guard edges MIT

One weekend later, missing a top shooter, MIT had a challenging away match against a much-improved United States Coast Guard Academy squad. Coast Guard’s grand aggregate score of 6,289 was higher than MIT’s season high, and provided Coast Guard a 200-point margin of victory. Coast Guard Blue’s scoring members each handily beat the corresponding members of MIT’s team, with large margins of victory in both Air and Standard Pistol.

Coast Guard continued its winning streak last weekend at MIT in a combined match and the NRA Sectionals (qualifiers for the Collegiate National Championships). Though MIT won in the majority of five events, the varsity squad fell with an aggregate score of 6,253-6,263. Victories were tallied in Free Pistol, Women's Air, and Women’s Sport; losses were in open Air and Standard events.

Team looks ahead to Nationals

Despite the narrow loss, MIT’s team is very strong and is expected to qualify in all five events for the national championships in March. Additionally, several shooters have very high standings nationally and are expected to qualify individually,

The team in recent weeks has been on a more intense schedule with additional Saturday practices in preparation for the NRA Nationals. MIT has traditionally performed very well, most recently by securing first-place in Women’s Air Pistol in last year’s competition. Using sectional performance as a meter, MIT is well-poised to place in the top three for Standard, Women’s Air, and Women’s Sport Pistol.