March 15, 2012

Eight Bulldog Marksmen Tabbed with NCAA All-Academic Awards

Columbus, Ohio ­– The Citadel rifle team capped off another successful season by racking up eight NCAA All-Academic awards from the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association during the NCAA Championships Banquet. To be eligible for the honor, athletes must earn at least a 3.2 grade point average and have one of the team's five scores count towards the scoring of a match.

The following Bulldog earned All-Academic honors:

Terri Craig (Jr.) – Craig fired a season air rifle average of 554.50 and a small bore average of 516.71, second best among women shooters on the team in both categories. The Richmond, Va., native earned her two letters in the second Southeastern Air Rifle Conference (SEARC) match with a score of 562 and the following week against Alabama-Birmingham where she carded a season-high 569. 

Sharnay Green (Jr.) – In her first season with the Bulldogs, Green carded a season air rifle average of 498.33. The Charleston, S.C., native fired her personal- and season-best score of 527 at the SEARC 6 competition.

Julia McCullohs (Jr.) – McCullohs closed out the 2012 campaign with an average air rifle mark of 565.70, tops among Citadel women and second on the team overall. The junior captain earned eight air rifle letters with her best outing coming against VMI and Nevada when she fired a team-high mark of 579. The Colorado Springs, Colo., native also led the women's team in small bore action with a season average of 520.29.

Julie O'Meara (Jr.) – O'Meara consistently shot her way on the women's top four, carding a season air rifle average of 543.33. The Indianapolis, Ind., native recorded a season-best score of 556 at the SEARC 6/NCAA Sectional competition where she led all Bulldog women.

Ashten Byrne (So.) –Byrne found her place as a consistent scorer on the women's team in just her second season shooting competitively. The Port Royal, S.C., native finished the year with an air rifle average of 545.09, recording a season-best mark of 558 on two occasions (SEARC 2 & SEARC Championships).

Richard Hunton III (Fr.). – Hunton was one of four freshmen on the men's roster who made an immediate impact, firing a season air rifle average of 545.91 and small bore average of 450.14. The Columbia, S.C., native posted his best air rifle mark of 558 in the SEARC 6 competition.

Margaret LaRiviere (Fr.) – LaRiviere walked on to an experienced women's squad and stepped up as the consistent four shooter in small bore with a season average of 476.80. The Horseheads, N.Y., native posted a personal- and season-best mark of 562 at the VMI/Nevada match to become the only freshman on the women's team to letter on the season.

William Wutzer (Fr.) – Wutzer fired a 562 in his first collegiate match in the SEARC 1 competition to earn the first of his nine letters in air rifle. The freshman marksman also lettered once in small bore action when he carded a 562 against Air Force and Ole Miss. The Siesta Key, Fla., native ended the 2012 campaign with an air rifle average of 561.33 and a small bore average of 542.88.

"I am very pleased that so many of my shooters received academic awards from the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association," said Bulldog Head Coach William Smith. "It shows their dedication to practice as well as their class work."

2012 Season In-Review

The 2010-11 SEARC Champion Bulldogs entered the 2011-12 campaign with a power-packed schedule which included the 2012 NCAA Champion TCU Horned Frogs, No. 5 Alaska-Fairbanks, No.7 Nevada, No. 8 Jacksonville State, No. 9 Mississippi, No. 13 Air Force, No. 17 Columbus State and No. 20 N.C. State.

The young Citadel team, which lost team leader Winston Dorian along with captains Alison Hayes and Joseph Trippi, handled the competitive pressure very well as the men's roster was bolstered by four freshmen who all immediately took over as leaders in both air rifle and small bore.

"We shot against so many of the top teams this season that I am surprised that we managed to end up on the plus side. The difficult schedule this season will pay off next year in higher scores," said Smith.

Robert Jackson led all Bulldog shooters in seven of the 12 matches, including team-leading averages in air rifle (568.08) and small bore (548.75). The Roswell, Ga., native also recorded a men's team top score on the season of 576 against No. 5 Alaska-Fairbanks.

Freshman Nathaniel Moy proved to be the consistent small bore shooter that the team needed, posting a season average of 545.38. Moy was one of only two Cadets to earn a letter in both air rifle and small bore action. The Annapolis, Md., native carded a small bore score of 561 against Air Force and Ole Miss before posting a 561 at SEARC 6 in the air rifle.

Senior captain Kristofer Small posted a season air rifle average of 561, his best in four years with the team. The Augusta, Ga., native also posted a career-high air rifle mark of 573 against VMI and Nevada.

"We raised our overall two-gun averages quite a bit this year, and they will continue to increase next season," said Smith.  I have the most talent returning since I started coaching at The Citadel. I am looking forward to winning the SEARC next year."

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