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Pistol Close 2nd to West Point

By Christine Nee


This past weekend, the MIT pistol team drove to West Point, New York to compete against the United States Military Academy. Army posed a significant challenge, with a rigorous shooting program. Although the MIT pistol team ultimately lost against West Point, the experience of practicing in an automated, top-of-the-line range was well worth the travel.

Arriving at West Point on Friday evening, most of the team members prepared themselves for the air match after stretching from the three and a half hour drive. The event is shot with a compressed air gun for 60 shots for men, or 40 shots for women.

In the woman’s air competition, Diana Nee ’07 shot a personal best, bringing the team within three points of Army. For the open 60 shot match, MIT lost 2161 to 2206.

The first event on Saturday morning was free pistol, where targets are placed 50 feet from the shooter, and 60 bullets are fired with a single-shot .22 caliber gun. David R. Schannaon ’04 lead the men with a strong score, but MIT still lost 1930 to 1982.

The following event was standard pistol. In standard, shooters fire a total of 60 shots with a .22 caliber gun. The 60 shots are divided into four five-shot strings of timed categories: 2.5 minutes, 20 seconds, and 10 seconds. For this event, Walter C. Lin ’06 had the highest score and blew away the West Point shooters with his personal best, but MIT was still bested by Army by a mere eight points.

The last event for the day was woman’s sport pistol. In this event, shooters also fire a total of 60 shots with a .22 caliber gun. The first 30 shots are fired in six groups, 5 minutes each, and the other 30 shots are fired in a rapid sequence. The rapid portion requires the women to 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 scored higher than any other shooter, but MIT still lost by a handful of points.

Although the MIT pistol team lost with an aggregate score of 6159 to 6264, Coach Will Hart believes the team performed and adjusted to the new environment very well. The transition from the team’s usual buzzer sounds to flipping targets was quite an adjustment, along with the freezing cold on the range. For this time of year, the MIT pistol team is performing better than last year’s team, and so the team is expecting to have another successful and exciting season.