The record-breaking Ole Miss rifle team (11-1) is currently having its best season in school history and has its eyes on the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) championship this weekend from Feb. 27-28. The Rebels also qualified for the NCAA Rifle Championships for the first time in 15 years, the program announced on Tuesday.
“This team is a very special group,” head coach Marsha Beasley said from Ole Miss Athletics. “They’ve brought a consistent, focused effort to the range every day the entire year. Everyone has put in the work and been resilient in adapting to the changes and challenges of the pandemic. I am so proud of them, and I know they will continue to do what they need to in order to perform well in the GARC Championships and at NCAAs.”
The team looks to continue its momentum after last weekend’s match in the NCAA qualifier where the Rebels beat Jacksonville State at home on Feb. 20 by a score of 4,721-4,654.
Last weekend, the Rebels performed in record-breaking fashion to earn a dominating win. In air rifle, the team combined for its highest air rifle score in school history. All five shooters scored within points of each other between individual scores of 590-599, totaling for a record air rifle score of 2,383.
Freshman Lea Horvath led the bunch with 599, and junior Jillian Zakrzeski posted her new career high with 597. Senior Abby Buesseler, sophomore Kristin Derting, junior Erin Walsh and freshman Martina Gratz followed suit, all scoring within points of each other between scores of 592-594.
The Rebels also posted a strong performance in smallbore in order to hoist their way above Jacksonville State. To solidify the win, sophomore Claire O’Neel and senior Kamilla Kisch led the way with scores of 581 and 572, respectively.
The GARC Championship round will be held virtually across all universities, meaning Ole Miss will compete for the crown at home in Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center in Oxford.
On Saturday, Feb. 28, the Rebels will shoot in the smallbore relay and smallbore finale at 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. On Sunday, the air rifle relay will be held at 8 a.m. with the finale at 10:15 a.m.
Though the public is welcome to attend in a limited capacity, fans are encouraged to follow along with the competition on Ole Miss Rifle’s Twitter account.