OXFORD, Miss. —The Ole Miss rifle team is preparing to host the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships for the ninth consecutive year at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center this weekend (Feb. 22-24).
The GARC is comprised of several of the top rifle programs in the country. Teams include NCAA qualifiers Army, West Virginia, Nebraska and Kentucky as well as NC State and Memphis. Navy is competing as a guest this weekend, since they will officially join the conference beginning with the 2013-14 season.
The Rebels posted a solid score of 4632 at the NCAA Qualifier last Saturday at the University of Kentucky, equaling their second highest mark for the year. However, the team learned Wednesday that they had just missed out on an NCAA bid, as only the top eight teams are selected for the championships.
“We did what we set out to do at Kentucky,” head coach Valerie Boothe said. “We went into the match knowing where we stood and what he had to shoot to try and earn a bid. We were looking to do our best, and that’s what we did. Nine is the worst spot to be in, because you are like the best of the unsatisfied. But it shows that our program continues to be right there knocking on the door, and eventually we are going to get in.”
Despite the disappointment of not qualifying for the NCAA Championships, Boothe says the team is looking forward to the weekend and hosting the conference championships again.
“It’s kind of like a homecoming week. We see these teams all year long, and all the team members know each other really well,” Boothe said. “It’s almost like one big family. It’s good friendly competition. For a lot of the teams headed to NCAAs, this will serve as a practice round for them, because it’s run exactly the same. The pressure is the same. It will be great competition for the ones that didn’t make it, and for the ones that did, they’re shooting against half of the NCAA field.”
The season might not be over after this weekend for everyone on the team, as the individual selections will be announced Thursday. Junior Abbey Stanec, who finished runner-up at the NCAAs last year in air rifle, will find out if she gets to go back home to Ohio for a second time.
Stanec paced the team last weekend at the qualifier, with a season-best aggregate score of 1171, including a season-high 590 in air rifle and 581 in smallbore.
“I made it last year and then shot a personal best to finish second. I am hopeful that the 590 [I shot] this past weekend will help me get in again. I’ll be anticipating the show tomorrow.”
Stanec is looking forward to this weekend’s competition. “GARC is always a lot of fun. We get to hang out with our friends from all the other teams. We have the banquet Friday night where everybody gets to visit and take pictures. It’s always a fun way to end the season.”
This weekend will mark the final hurrah for senior Kim Coffey. “Kim has been a really good all-around team member for us,” Boothe said. “She pushes everyone on the team to get better. She gets her work done in the classroom and has been our top GPA leader all four years. You couldn’t ask for a better team member.”
Competition starts Friday with individual smallbore at Noon. Saturday will feature team smallbore beginning at 7 a.m., with the finals at 5:30 p.m. The championships conclude Sunday with air rifle at 8 a.m. followed by the air finals at 12:45 p.m.
Admission for the weekend is free. The Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center is located off Hwy. 7, on Sisk Avenue.
Live scoring will be available on OleMissSports.com’s GARC Central page.
Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more
If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more
The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with a 71-65 win at Mississippi State and a 59-57 victory over Tennessee. The Rebels improved to 10-4 in the... read more
Despite winter weather that affected many teams, it was a busy week for Ole Miss athletics. The men's basketball completed a 2-0 week and has positioned itself well entering the last two weeks of the regular season. The baseball, women's... read more
After missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to recovery from a torn labrum, sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been brilliant in his first two outings back in 2015, fanning 19 batters through 12.0... read more
For the second time in as many weeks, Ole Miss embarks on a Thursday-Saturday swing, returning home to host Tennessee on Saturday after a 71-65 win on Thursday at Mississippi State. During the previous week, Ole Miss was on the... read more
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The game hung in the balance. Mississippi State had just regained a 54-52 lead with 6:25 left, taking advantage of a 6-0 run. Head coach Andy Kennedy challenged his team, and junior guard Stefan Moody answered the... read more
Ole Miss and Cal will play a home-and-home football series in 2017 and 2019, the schools and ESPN announced Thursday. It marks the Rebels' first matchup with a Pac-12 school in football and will be only the program's second visit... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewFeb. 10-16, 2015Men's Basketball- Ole Miss saw its six-game winning streak snapped with a one-point loss to No. 23 Arkansas Saturday night. Junior guard Stefan Moody and senior forward M.J. Rhett each scored 16 points... read more
The men's basketball team marches on toward March, the baseball team opened the 2015 season with a series win over William & Mary and the softball team prepares for its home opener under first-year head coach Mike Smith. The winter... read more
Riding a six-game winning streak, Ole Miss hosts No. 24 Arkansas in a battle for sole possession of second place in the SEC standings. The Rebels are looking for its fourth season sweep of Arkansas in the last five attempts,... read more