SPOTLIGHT: From Roommates To Captains

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Melissa Quartarone and Rena Goodwin (Photos by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Melissa Quartarone and Rena Goodwin (Photos by Joshua McCoy)
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 11, 2012

By Kim Ling    
Associate Director, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations
    
Coming from different parts of the United States two years ago, they roomed together as freshmen on the Ole Miss rifle team.  Now, juniors Melissa Quartarone and Rena Goodwin are both captains hoping to lead the Rebels to the NCAA Championships in 2013.  

For Quartarone, a native of Georgia, it was a fun game in the back yard that led her down this road.  

“We got a BB gun in the sixth grade for Christmas.  I took it out in the backyard the morning after I got it, and we set up a can on a wheelbarrow.  I shot at it three times and everybody thought I missed the target. But when we got to it, there were three holes in the center of the can. I knew from then on, I could be good at it,” Quartarone said.

Quartarone earned Georgia All-State honors in 2008 and 2010 for Parkview High School in Stone Mountain.  

Goodwin’s path to Ole Miss began a little different.   The Massachusetts native tagged along with her brother, who at the time was a participant in rifle.  Goodwin admits to being hooked right away.

“I had left the sport of gymnastics and my parents said I had to do something, so I started shooting with my brother.  He ended up leaving the sport and I fell in love with it.  The following year I told my dad I wanted my own rifle.  I wanted to start shooting competitively like some of the other kids at the club.  He told me if I shot my first 100, he would buy me a rifle.”

The rest is history.  Goodwin finished third in the smallbore at the 2009 USA Nationals at Fort Benning and was on her way to a scholarship at Ole Miss.

Both Quartarone and Goodwin made an immediate impact on the team as freshmen in 2010-11.  Quartarone finished third on the team with a 571.6 season average in smallbore and also finished with a season average of 579.6 in air rifle.

“I was determined to make an impact,” Quartarone said.  “I wanted to make the traveling team.  Coach told me if I made the traveling team, she would get me a suit.  When I made the traveling team that first trip I was on top of the world.”

As a sophomore, Quartarone was named a National Rifle Association smallbore second team All-American.  In addition, she earned Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) smallbore and air rifle second team honors.

Inside the rifle range at the Patricia C. Lamar Readiness Center, where the team practices daily, they have a countdown clock on the wall that reads: “NCAA Rifle Championships, have you done all you can to prepare?”  

The past two years, the team has come agonizingly close to making the NCAA Championships, a goal both Quartarone and Goodwin believe will happen this year.

“We want to make it to NCAAs, but it’s more than that,” Quartarone said.  “It’s not just about making it, we want to place at NCAAs.  We just have to get over the qualifier hump.”  

Goodwin echoed her fellow captain.  “We’ve kind of embraced what our new Athletics Director (Ross Bjork) has said about culture here and why not Ole Miss.  We’ve restructured our program some this year.  We’ve all come in with different mindsets and we are ready to make it happen.  We are focusing on the little things, like our culture, staying healthy and mentally strong and getting good grades.  If we do all those things, then we can definitely achieve what Melissa said.”

Speaking of good grades, both Quartarone and Goodwin are right on target in the classroom.   Quartarone, a forensic chemistry major, and Goodwin, an exercise science major, have been named Collegiate Rifle Coaches’ Association Academic All-Americans two years in a row.

When asked what she planned to do with forensic chemistry, Quartarone chuckled then said we might see her as a real life CSI one day, though she’s never seen the fictional version on TV.

“I would like to work with a crime scene investigation department.  I have never seen CSI or any of those other criminal shows.  I’ve just read a lot, and I am actually really interested in forensic anthropology.  I’ve been trying to get either a double major or minor in anthropology because I like working with bones.  Maybe after that I might go off on my own as a private investigator.”

Quartarone also plans to continue shooting, with her target the 2016 Olympics.  “I have a coaching certification, and I have a couple of teams back home that I coach.  I am really dedicated to staying with it.  I want to give it a solid chance to see if I can make the Olympics.  I hear it’s warm in Rio, and I love warm weather,” she said.

Goodwin, who plans to go to graduate school to study neuromechanics and biomechanics, will likely put down her guns for awhile she says.  “I will probably pack up the guns and put them away for a few years after Ole Miss.  I know they won’t stay in the safe for too long.  I am sure I will come back to the sport after I finish grad school and get more settled.”

For now, both captains are aiming at the target: 2013 NCAA Championships.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more

    • SEC Nation Talent Talks Ole Miss on Visit

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more

    • What They're Saying: Midseason Honors

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more

    • Rebels Slow Offensive Tempo

      Thursday, October 16, 2014 - Football

      With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 7

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 7 - Texas A&M (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Defense, Tennessee

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more

    • VIDEO: Studio 18 Live 10.15.14

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • VIDEO: 'Can't Be Denied' Hype Video

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Bo Wallace on The Dan Patrick Show

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Game-Manager Bo

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      Head coach Hugh Freeze admitted the offense played well enough to manage the game and let the defense win it.  Ole Miss leaned on its running game, rushing for 160 yards on 35 carries, while Bo Wallace completed 13-of-19 passes... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 6-12)

      Monday, October 13, 2014 - Rifle

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 6-12, 2014Football- The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels showed they belong among the nation's upper crust with a dominating 35-20 win at No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday.- Ole Miss jumped out to a... read more