The Alaska Nanooks rifle team scored its third consecutive 4700, its fourth of the season, shooting a 4710 in the NCAA qualifier this weekend at home against the University of Texas El Paso. The Nanooks defeated the UTEP miners, 4710-4581. The Nanooks end the regular season with a 6-3, 2-2 Patriot Rifle Conference record.
Coach William Anti said the match was a celebration for the team’s three seniors, Haley Castillo, Liam Eberhart and Morgan Erickson.
“Today was a great team performance,” Anti said. “NCAA Qualifiers is a difficult match and the team showed today that they are well prepared to handle these high intensity type matches. We also got to celebrate our three seniors today — all of whom have been great leaders and teammates over their collegiate careers. I’m incredibly thankful to have had this group of seniors who embraced me as a new coach this season.”
Daniel Enger led the way for the Nanooks once again, shooting an aggregate score high of 1182. Eberhart picked up second place with a 1176. He picked up second in front of Rylan Kissell (3rd), and Kellen McAferty (4th), who also shot a 1176. Cassidy Wilson finished in the top five with a 1161 aggregate. Alaska finished with nine of the top 10 spots in the aggregate scoring as Marina Gonzalez Mazo finished in sixth, Andrew Pham finished in seventh, Jessica Boyce finished in eighth and Castillo finished in 10th.
In the smallbore discipline, Enger picked up the top spot, shooting a 586. Eberhart followed again, also posting a 586. McAferty added a 585 and Kissell rounded out the squad totals with a 580. The Nanooks defeated the Miners in the smallbore discipline with a score of 2337-2256.
“From an individual perspective there were some really solid performances,” Anti said. “Kellen, Daniel and Liam all shot great smallbore. Additionally Daniel and Rylan shot phenomenal air gun. We were also really pleased to see Kellen’s progress in air this week — he’s been really dedicated to his air rifle training and it’s paying off.”
In the air rifle discipline, the Nanooks ran away in the scoring, defeating UTEP, 2373-2325. They were again led by Enger, as he posted a 596. Kissell picked up the second spot with a 596 of his own. McAferty shot a 591 for a third place finish and Eberhart rounded out the squad scoring with a 590.
The Nanooks now wait for the NCAA Selection Show and see if the team will participate in the 2021 NCAA Rifle Championships.
That is scheduled for Tuesday and a link will be provided via social media.
Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.