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.
Ole Miss fell 17-10 in overtime to intrastate rival Mississippi State, but the Rebels' one score provided a special moment for two of the team's unsung players. Down 7-0 with 31 seconds left in the first half, Ole Miss called... read more
Ole Miss sent seniors Kellie Goss and Kara Morgan out with a win as the Rebels topped LSU 3-2 on Senior Night. "It was a great win," head coach Joe Getzin said. "We tweaked the lineup, and one of our... read more
One of the core values for the Ole Miss football program is mental toughness. With a rivalry game in a hostile environment, it will carry a greater importance. "You're going into a hostile environment, and that's the biggest thing," offensive... read more
The Egg Bowl returns to Thanksgiving night for the first time since 2003, which is also the last time Ole Miss won in Starkville. Thursday's game is the 110th meeting of one of the nation's most-played rivalries and the 86th... read more
Ole Miss had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 24-10 loss to No. 8 Missouri on Saturday night. The 24th-ranked Rebels now face a quick turnaround as they travel to face intrastate rival Mississippi State on Thursday night in... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze meets with members of the media following Wednesday's practice.Ole Miss is the only school in the upper half of the SEC statistical rankings in every major offensive and defensive category. This week, the Rebels face one... read more
Photo Gallery Courtney Cunningham is a builder. While playing volleyball for Ole Miss from 2009-11, Cunningham helped build the Rebels into an NCAA Tournament team while also earning her civil engineering degree. From that degree, Cunningham is helping build... read more
There's a different air surrounding this week's primetime showdown with No. 8 Missouri, the Rebels' first top-10 test since a 27-24 win over then-No. 6 LSU back on Oct. 19. "It's a huge week for us," junior quarterback Bo Wallace... read more
Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell caught a short pass from junior quarterback Bo Wallace, made six Troy defenders miss and dove into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the start of a historic day for the Ole... read more
Ole Miss won its second ever NCAA Tournament game and set a school record for wins in a season with 16, as seven different Rebels scored in a 9-0 win over Jackson State Friday night. No. 22-ranked Ole Miss (16-5-2)... read more
Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, visited campus Wednesday. He spent time with head coach Hugh Freeze, spoke to the team and signed the equipment room Wall of Fame. "He's one of... read more
Ole Miss is bowl eligible for the second straight year under head coach Hugh Freeze after a 34-24 win over Arkansas this past Saturday. The Rebels are also 6-3 for the first time since 2009, when the started 8-3 before... read more
After Ole Miss took a 20-10 lead into halftime, the momentum swung in favor of Arkansas after an interception, a touchdown-scoring drive and a defensive three-and-out to start the third quarter. Now leading 20-17, senior quarterback Barry Brunetti converted a... read more
Junior guard Jarvis Summers scored a career-high 28 points to lift Ole Miss past Troy, 69-54, in Saturday's season opener in the Tad Smith Coliseum. He shot 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the field, including 5-for-10 from 3-point range. "He was... read more