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Pistol Stays Strong Against Navy

By Tiffany Seto


On Jan. 31, the MIT pistol team held their first set of matches against the United States Naval Academy. The Navy is well known for their excellent pistol team, always providing a challenge for MIT. Though Navy earned higher scores, the MIT team showed significant improvement from their match the previous week against the United States Coast Guard.

The first event on Saturday morning was free pistol, where targets are placed 50 feet from the shooter, and bullets are fired with a single-shot gun. All-American David R. Schannon ’04 shot his personal best, despite having recently injured his shooting arm. MIT lost with a score of 1931-2080.

The following event was women’s sport pistol, where the shooters fire a total of 60 shots, 30 of which are in the precision portion and the other 30 shot in the rapid portion. In the precision portion, the shooters shoot six strings of five shots, each in five minutes. In the rapid portion, also known as dueling, the 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. Tiffany L. Seto ’06 led the MIT team with her personal best for the season, trailing the Navy’s team by only nine points.

The last event for the day was standard pistol. 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. Cheng Liu ’05 took the highest score on the MIT team, shooting his personal best for the season. However, MIT was bested by the Navy with a score of 2048-2166.

Before the Navy could return on their eight-hour drive home, an air pistol match was held at 8 a.m. on Sunday morning. The MIT team shot their highest score of the season with a 2183, only 41 points behind Navy’s score. Schannon shot the highest score for MIT, tying Navy for first place.

Overall, MIT lost with an aggregate score of 6162-6470. However, this is the team’s second highest score for the season. Many of the shooters achieved personal bests and have improved dramatically. Sectionals occur on Feb. 20, and the scores from this match were higher than the scores from last year’s sectional scores. Coach Will Hart believes that with some hard training in the following weeks, the team will be well-prepared for Sectionals.