July 28, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – Following a record-setting year in 2013-14, the University of Tennessee at Martin rifle team is looking forward to another great season in 2014-15 with a very strong recruiting class joining a number of seasoned veterans on the squad.

During the past season, the Skyhawks tied the team smallbore record, broke the team air rifle and aggregate records (on more than one occasion), was awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Sportsmanship trophy by the other teams in the conference (the fourth such honor in the nine years the award has been presented), finished 13th in the nation (the 31st top-20 ranking in the past 32 years) and achieved a 3.23 team cumulative Grade Point Average with 11 Academic All-Americans.

In addition, team members tied the individual smallbore record, shattered the individual air rifle record, accounted for five all-conference selections including OVC Freshman of the Year and OVC Coach of the Year, a national collegiate sectional air rifle champion, two NCAA championship appearances, a national women’s air rifle champion and a selection to Team USA for the upcoming World Shooting Championships.

The Skyhawks are now poised to welcome eight freshmen to the squad when school resumes in August, the largest recruiting class in the history of the program. Four of the recruits joined current Skyhawks Dacotah Faught and Logan Hunt in qualifying for the National Junior Olympic competition at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in April. Faught used a stellar performance in that prestigious competition as a springboard to her selection to the national team.

Ashley Coots, from Fairview, Tenn., is an accomplished air gun shooter who just completed a week of smallbore training at the National Junior Smallbore Camp at Camp Perry, Ohio.

A native of Stratford, Conn., Brigitte Curcio was one of the signees qualifying for the Junior Olympic competition.

Lindsey Flint, hailing from Ballston Spa, NY, joins the UT Martin squad from the same programs that produced previous All-OVC Skyhawks Heather Tillson and Steve Hahn. Her sister, Breanna, is a current member of the UT Martin rifle team.

Summer Hopper (Santaquin, Utah) was Utah’s female qualifier to the National Junior Olympics.

An Emerado, ND native, Joe Martin is the North Dakota state champion and won the prone competition at the National Junior Olympics.

Terry Moore, from Mt. Juliet, Tenn., comes from one of the better high school air rifle programs in Tennessee.

Brianna Sawyers (Ozark, Mo.) also qualified for the National Junior Olympics and is a three-time national air rifle championship team member. She comes from the same program as former All-OVC Skyhawk Kelsea Hunt and current team member Logan Hunt.

A native of Courtland, Miss., Alex Tamboli joins the team from an air rifle program at South Panola High School in Batesville, Miss. His team trained at one of the civilian marksmanship program camps this summer where Faught was an instructor.

Most of the incoming freshmen are as talented in the classroom as on the shooting range. Four are coming to UT Martin under the out-of-state tuition waiver program for those with 25 or higher ACT scores and 3.5 or higher GPA’s. Additionally, five are receiving scholarships from the civilian marksmanship program (out of 150 awarded nationwide).

“It has been a very rewarding year for our team and we are looking forward to these fine athletes helping us continue the tradition of excellence that is UT Martin rifle,” Skyhawk head coach Bob Beard said.

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