Rifle Members Earn All-Conference Honors
Feb. 28, 2018

OXFORD, Miss. – At the Great American Rifle Conference Championships this past weekend in Morgantown, West Virginia, the conference handed out the regular season GARC awards with several members of the Ole Miss rifle team earning All-GARC honors and both coaches picking up awards.

The Rebels posted a 6-2 record in GARC and finished third in the regular season standings behind No. 1 West Virginia and No. 3 Kentucky. It marked the Rebels’ highest finish in the GARC regular season.

Three Rebels Earn All-GARC Honors… 
Junior Harley Gardner and freshmen Abby Buesseler earned honorable mention in smallbore, while senior Jessica Haig received honorable mention in air rifle. All three were contributors in Ole Miss posting its best finish in GARC regular season at 6-2, finishing third behind No. 1 West Virginia and No. 3 Kentucky.  

Gardner, of Bellville, Texas, posted a 577.63 average in GARC matches, while Buesseler (Stacy, Minnesota), finished with a 577.0 average. 

Haig (Constableville, New York) earned the honor for the second time in her career in air rifle. She posted a 590.00 average in GARC matches with a personal best 595 against No.1 West Virginia. Haig contributed a 593 in the win against Nebraska.

In addition to earning All-GARC Honorable Mention in smallbore, Buesseler was named a GARC Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Beasley Named Coach of the Year… 
Going back to her native hometown and the place where she began her decorated career, Marsha Beasley earned GARC Coach of the Year honors in her second season with the Rebels. 

“I am honored that my peers voted me coach of the year,” Beasley said. “This is a reflection of the hard work by the team and JP and the progress that we’ve made.”

In two years, she has transformed the program to one competing for an NCAA bid right down to the end this year.  The Rebels posted the most wins in school history with a 7-5 overall record, 6-2 in GARC and finished third in the regular season GARC standings. Ole Miss set the school record with a 4687 in the match against Alaska-Fairbanks.

From 1990-2006, Beasley was the head rifle coach at West Virginia leading the program to eight NCAA national championships. In her first year as head coach, the Mountaineers won the first of four consecutive NCAA titles (1990-93) and repeated the feat from 1995-98.

Jean-Pierre Lucas Takes Home Assistant Coach of the Year… 
Returning to his alma mater, Jean-Pierre Lucas, grabbed GARC Assistant Coach of the Year honors. The former All-American and member of the five-time reigning NCAA Rifle Champions, joined the Rebels as assistant coach at the beginning of this season and helped lead them to one of their best seasons in several years.

“Overall, I was very happy with the way the team worked together this season,” Lucas said. “They worked hard and stayed focused on our team mission throughout the entirety of the season. It was nice to not only see the team get an award for our GARC season wins but also to see some team members earn individual awards.” 

“We have seen the forward progress of the program during Marsha’s tenure,” said deputy athletics director Lynnette Johnson. “It confirms what our program is doing and the respect Marsha’s peers have for her to be voted Coach of the Year. JP has been a great addition to our staff this year, and he is well deserving of his Assistant Coach of the Year recognition.”

Up Next… 
While the collegiate season is finished for the rest of the team, freshman Kamilla Kisch earned a bid to the NCAA Championships in air rifle. She will head to Charleston, South Carolina next week to compete on March 10 at The Citadel’s McAlister Field House. Kisch qualified in air rifle with a 596 at the NCAA Qualifier.

For more information on Ole Miss Rifle, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissRifle, on Facebook at OleMissRifle and on Instagram @OleMissRifle.



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