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drew k. dennison
Wen Chyan ’13 fires for the MIT pistol team in the free pistol event at the 2010 NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships, held at Fort Benning, Georgia from March 16–20.
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The MIT pistol team, stripped of its varsity status in last year’s sports cuts, performed well at the 30th annual NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships at Fort Benning, Georgia, held March 16–20, in its first year as a club team. Several individuals won honors, and both the women’s team and the open team came in fourth place in their team aggregates. The open team took silver in the free pistol event and the women’s team took silver in the women’s air pistol event.

In recognition of his efforts and his dedication as coach during the team’s transition from varsity to club, Coach Will Hart was awarded the 2010 NRA Coach of the Year award.

The open team, consisting of Michelle C. Ma ’10, Drew D. Regitsky ’10, Andrew K. Sugaya ’11, Ariel A. Torres ’11, Albert W. Chang ’10, and Wen Chyan ’13, finished behind the United States Military Academy, the Citadel, and the United States Naval Academy, with a score of 6,210. The women’s team, made up of Ma, Pearle M. Lipinski ’12 (also a Tech news editor), Christie S. Chiu ’13, and Alexandra Jiang ’11, trailed Navy, Army and the Ohio State University, missing the podium by only one point with a score of 2,636.

The open aggregate score is comprised of three events: air pistol, free pistol, and standard pistol, the last being fired with .22 caliber pistols. There are four competitors per team per event, and each can score up to 600 points; The highest possible score for a team is 7200 points. Women’s scoring is slightly different, comprised of only two events: women’s air pistol and sport pistol, Sport fired with a .22 pistol. Only three competitors compete per event per team in the women’s aggregate, and with the maximum air pistol score 400 and the maximum sport pistol score 600 per competitor, the maximum team score is 3,000.

The open team’s strongest event was free pistol, a sixty-shot event at a range of fifty meters. Sugaya, Regitsky, Chyan, and Chang together earned second place with a team score of 2,016, falling to Army’s 2,036.

The women’s team captured the silver in women’s air pistol, an event that consists of forty shots at ten meters. Ma, Chiu, and Lipinski earned a score of 1,074, defeated Army by over ten points, but trailing Navy, who scored 1,081.

Individual efforts were honored as well, as several competitors qualified for finals. After a match is fired, the top eight shooters as determined by their score participate in finals. Only those who qualified individually, not as a member of a team, are eligible to be considered.

Finals consist of 10 shots, whose shot values are scored to the tenth of a point – a shot perfectly in the center would score a 10.9. These ten shots total are then added to the base score to determine the top three shooters in the event, and rankings can shift dramatically as a result of these finals. Regitsky entered free pistol finals and earned 6th place with a finals score of 90.8. Ma and Chiu entered into women’s air pistol finals as fifth and seventh place, respectively, but ultimately did not place in the medal spots.

Ma won third place individually for sport pistol, as well as third place for the individual women’s aggregate with a score of 911, two points behind the silver medalist Heather Deppe from Army. Ma’s performance throughout the season in sport pistol earned her a place on the All-American Second Team in sport pistol.

Sugaya also earned honorable mention for the All-American Teams in free pistol and air pistol.

Hart is proud of the team’s performance, and notes that members’ toughness — both physical and mental — is a key factor of the team’s success. The team looks forward to another competitive season, bolstered by strong performances in the past.

The MIT pistol team won third place at last year’s nationals, and won the national championship title in 2005 and 2007. The team competed against nearly a dozen teams this year, including all military academies except the Air Force, as well as several civilian schools including OSU and Texas A&M.