Despite one loss against Nebraska, the Racer rifle team came out strong this weekend, ending with a win against the University of Mississippi.
Only a few matches into his college career, Ivan Roe, freshman from Manhattan, Mont., is shooting just as well statistically as a fourth-season senior.
Starting out at his high school BB Gun Club, Roe never thought he’d be shooting for a collegiate team.
Roe said his father came home one day with a flier and signed him up. Little did he know that the push he was given would earn him a scholarship and the opportunity to shoot at the collegiate level, he said.
“I feels good to be doing so well,” Roe said. “This sport isn’t about competing against your teammates, but it is about competing against yourself and being the best you can be.”
Last weekend at the match against Nebraska and Mississippi, Roe scored a 576 in smallbore and a 586 in air rifle against Nebraska and a score of 577 in smallbore and a 591 in air rifle against Ole Miss. Roe’s scores matched identically with senior Kelsey Emme’s.
Head Coach Alan Lollar said it’s a good thing Roe is doing so well.
“I believe it shows that our freshmen are learning and that they can contribute even though they are young,” Lollar said. “Sometimes it is a hard thing to do, but our guys are learning early and I have high hopes for all of them.”
Roe says everyone prepares differently by joking, listening to music or talking to others. For him, this sport is a way to relax and take his mind off everything else.
“I personally, before matches, sit there and imagine myself shooting a perfect ten,” Roe said. “I concentrate on how it would look then when I get out there since I already know what it looks like in my head. I can focus on making what is in my head a reality.”
The Racers played Nebraska and fell by 11 points with aggregate scores of 1,151-1,140. Coming back up on top against Mississippi the following day, the Racers scored an aggregate of 4,653-4,598.
“This weekend’s match was a chance to go somewhere different and see what shooting in different atmospheres feels like,” Lollar said. “Chances like this give us opportunity to see what is actually working and to brush off distractions.”
This was a place to sort out problems and show they can return to the top. Their biggest problem was sling, which is the kneeling position in smallbore. It’s the small things that they struggled with, but these small issues they are struggling with are things they can work on and improve for the next match, Roe said.
“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people with what we do,” Roe said. “If we can turn around in one day and show how well we can do, I believe we can work out our small problems.”
With two weeks to prepare for the MSU Tri-Match at the Spurgin Rifle Range at home, the team is revving up to compete. Lollar is uncertain about how the next match will play out.
“I have no idea how the team will do,” Lollar said. “It is nice to be at home because everything is comfortable and this gives us a great advantage to feeling confident in our environment.”
The Racers invited Texas Christian and Jacksonville State to compete on Oct. 25 at Pat Spurgin Rifle Range.
Story by Kelsey Randolph, Staff writer