MURRAY, Ky. – The University of Tennessee at Martin rifle teams concluded a good showing at the Ohio Valley Conference championships this afternoon, capping off the two-day event at the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range on the campus of Murray State University.
Both of UT Martin’s teams eclipsed their average season scores by nearly 20 points. The Skyhawk mixed team compiled 4,597 aggregate points to result in a third place finish while the UT Martin’s women’s squad came in sixth place by tallying 4,485 total points. Jacksonville State won the team championship for the third straight year with an aggregate score of 4,650.
Individually, five different members of the Skyhawk program brought home hardware, including two of the four biggest awards the conference has to offer. Dacotah Faught became the fourth UT Martin shooter to garner OVC Freshman of the Year accolades (joining Kaitlin Chaffin in 2008, Kyle Rebillion in 2010 and Joe Barefoot in 2012), while Bob Beard was crowned as OVC Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his storied career. Beard’s four OVC Coach of the Year awards (won in 2000, 2007, 2011, 2014) are the second-most out of any rifle coach in OVC history.
Faught also chalked up All-OVC smallbore first team, All-Newcomer smallbore, All-OVC air rifle second team and All-Newcomer air rifle honors. Jessica Cobb tallied All-OVC second team accolades in both smallbore and air rifle while Breanna Flint (All-Newcomer smallbore) and Dana Maurizio (All-OVC air rifle second team) also cinched their statuses as some of the OVC’s most elite sharpshooters.
The Skyhawk mixed team tallied a 2,276 smallbore score on Saturday and a 2,321 air rifle tally on Sunday. Faught’s score of 580 ranked as the second-highest of 30 competitors, only two points off the smallbore MVP score. Cobb’s 574 was good enough for sixth place while Maurizio and Steve Hahn each fired a 561. Barefoot’s 558 rounded out the scoring.
Flint’s round of 571 paced the women’s team, who compiled 2,225 points as a whole. Kelly James scored a 560 with Jordan Goodwin (558) following closely behind. Alex Haid (536) and Jamie Arnett (535) also contributed to the Skyhawk women’s score.
This afternoon, the UT Martin mixed team fired a composite team score of 2,321 in air rifle. Maurizio (584), Cobb (583) and Faught (581) finished in back-to-back-to-back slots, while Nikki Kroll’s 573 and Logan Hunt’s 565 put the finishing touches on the competition.
The Skyhawk women tallied 2,260 points in air rifle, led by Goodwin’s 567 performance. She was followed in scoring by Arnett (566), James (565), Flint (562) and Katrina Klaes (549).
UT Martin will return to the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range in less than two weeks when it will compete in the NRA Sectional/NCAA Qualifier on Saturday, Feb. 22.