Georgia Military College competed with shooters from all over the United States of America this past weekend at the National Rifle Association Intercollegiate Nationals at Ft. Benning, Georgia's Pool Range. Small bore consisted of three positions, two shots each in prone, kneeling and standing (offhand). The shooters were shooting into the outdoor elements of rain and windy conditions and shooting on an electronic range. They shot small bore one day and air rifle the next. Air rifle consisted of sixty shots in the standing position. There were seventy three shooters and twenty three colleges represented in small bore. The score of 562 was high and low 431.
Georgia Military College's Collegiate Rifle Team placed seventh in small bore and fourth in air rifle competition. The GMC small bore team consisted of two commuter students and three cadets. The top four scores of each shooter counted for the teams overall score.
Cadet Donald Preston from Duette, Florida shot a 179-165-176 for a total score of 520. Cadet Preston was awarded the gold medal as the top individual ROTC winner in small bore. Liliana Reyes of Milledgeville, Georgia shot an outstanding 181-166-167 score for a total of 514. Cadet Sarah Conners shot a 184-161-159 for a total of 504. She is from Lagrange, Georgia and was awarded the silver medal in ROTC individual competition. Sarah Bean of Gray, Georgia shot a 179-149-179 for a total of 507. The team total was 2045 for seventh place out of the twenty three teams.
Other shooters in GMC's small bore division were Cadet Destin Owens of Woodbury, Georgia with a 181-149-153 for a score of 483. Cadet Drae Robinson from Merritt Island, Florida who shot 183-144-176 for a total of 503. Cadet Robinson was awarded the bronze medal as the third highest ROTC shooter in individual small bore competition. Cadet Johnny Nguyen, in his first year as a shooter, shot a 163-153-159 for a 475. He is from Snellville, Georgia.
The University of Michigan was the gold winning team in small bore with a 2152, followed by Purdue with a 2150 and University of Akron for the bronze.
The next day was air rifle competition with eighty shooters and twenty two teams. The National Rifle Association Intercollegiate National Champion was the University of Michigan with a 2253, Purdue the silver and Clemson the bronze. Georgia Military College's Bulldog Team shot a 2191, nine shots short of Clemson and took fourth in the competition. Cadet Sarah Conners received her high school education home schooled. She scored the top score in ROTC individual competition and received the gold medal for her score of 557. Liliana Reyes of Baldwin High School shot a 550, the top score for a commuter student at GMC. Cadet Donald Preston of Palmetto High School was awarded the ROTC silver medal for his score of 547. Cadet Johnny Nguyen of Riverside Military Academy shot a 537 for the four man team score of 2191.
Other air rifle shooters were Cadet Drae Robinson of Merritt Island High School with a 541. Cadet Robinson was awarded the bronze medal for third overall in the individual ROTC category. Cadet Destin Owens of Harris County High School shot a 534. Rachael Mangan of Clemson University took first place overall, North Dakota College of Science took second and Thomas Nelson Community College in Virginia took third.
The combined scores for small bore and air rifle gave the National Rifle Association Intercollegiate Championship to the University of Michigan with a 4405, Purdue second and the University of Akron third with a 4322.
The following colleges/universities competed in this year's National Rifle Association Intercollegiate Championship: The University of Michigan, Purdue, University of Akron, Penn State, Clemson, Kansas State, University of New Mexico, Emporia State University, Canisius College, West Virginia University, Georgia Military College, University Wisconsin Superior, University of Virginia, Michigan State, North Dakota College of Science, North Dakota State, Thomas Nelson Community College, Cedarville University, Piedmont Community College and the University of Illinois, SUNY Maritime and Wentworth.
The shooters had the honor of attending a shooting clinic hosted by the Army Marksmanship Team. The clinic was headed by two Army Olympians who represent the United States in shooting competitions; Coach Jason Parker and Michael McPhail. Michael is the number one prone shooter in the world and they announced they were preparing for the Olympic qualifier which will be held in two weeks. The competitors had an excellent question and answer session along with discussions on alignment, sighting, nutrition, climate conditions and travel to other countries with shooting equipment and especially jet lag.
After the competition on Sunday, the teams met at the Ironworks in Columbus, Georgia for the National Rifle Association Awards Banquet. Awards were presented to the competitors. Georgia Military College Bulldog Team and Cadets were congratulated by other coaches and teams for representing their college in a professional manner. Georgia Military College retains their ROTC National Title for the fourth year in a row.