The 10th-ranked Murray State Racers headed to Jacksonville to take on the Gamecocks for their final match of the fall season.
This marked the fourth consecutive showdown between the Racers and Gamecocks. Murray State had a strong showing and placed second out of six teams at the Jacksonville Invitational. They bounced back from a less-than-satisfactory showing at Morehead State the previous weekend.
Jacksonville won the match with an aggregate score of 4,639. The Racers came in second with a total of 4,625. Columbus State came in third, posting 4,571.
Sophomore Kesley Emme led the Racers in total scoring with an aggregate of 1,164. Emme also led the team in smallbore with 579 and shot 585 in air rifle. Junior Mikey Burzynski shot a solid score of 573 in smallbore and 575 in air rifle.
Sophomore Kristen Moyer had a strong performance in Jacksonville leading the team with a 587 marking her season best air rifle. Freshman Tessa Howald shot a 580 in air rifle and a 570 in smallbore. Freshman Kaitlyn Wilson scored a 570 in air rifle and a 559 in smallbore.
Consistency has been the name of the game this season according to Head Coach Allan Lollar. The relatively young Racer rifle team has been working diligently to establish a solid foundation and performance throughout its fall season, Lollar said.
“We are staying consistent at a pretty good level right now,” Lollar said. “We need to get better, but the interesting thing is that we are holding this consistency in different ways. It’s not the same every time. What that means to me is that it is just under the surface waiting to show up in a big way. We just have to have the patience needed to make improvements that are permanent. I think we will.”
So far this season, the Racers have been solid contenders throughout the OVC. Kicking off their 2012 fall season with a win versus UT Martin and Columbus State on Sept. 30 gave the Racers high hopes for their season. Unfortunately the season rounded out with a 1-5 record.
With the fall season completed, the Racers have set their sights on the OVC Championships held at Morehead State in February.
“How we come back from the break will be the key,” Lollar said. “January 10 and 12 we have Alaska and Jacksonville State in big matches.”
In addition to preparing for the OVC Championships, Emme is currently training for the USA Shooting Winter Air Rifle Championships in a few weeks. The younger shooters are also prepping for their Junior Olympic Qualifiers.
Story by Laura Kovarik, staff writer.