COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State rifle team competed in the 2017 NCAA Qualifier Saturday at the Hugh W. Wylie Range on campus. The team posted a score of 4678 which will put them in position to qualify for the 2017 NCAA Rifle Championships hosted by Ohio State March 10-11. The University of Akron competed alongside the Buckeyes and posted a team score of 4634.
In smallbore, the Buckeyes fired a team score of 2305 led by sophomore Michael Steinel who fired a season best equaling 584. Junior Drew Cheezum (576), freshman Rhiann Travis (573), junior Mark Matheny (572) and freshman Jacob Buchanan (570) rounded out team scoring for Ohio State. Firing as individuals, seniors Anthony Cuozzo, Deanna Binnie, and Chrissy Thomas completed their Ohio State careers by firing scores of 583, 579 and 556 respectively. In other individual action freshman Alli Kissell (580) and sophomore Bailey Urbach (576) both fired personal best scores while junior Josh Black (575), and sophomores Quintin Wotring (575), Brendan Whitaker (561) and Patrick Sardo (544) rounded out individual scoring.
In air rifle, Ohio State fired a team score of 2373, one point shy of the program record. They were led by a fantastic performance by Rhiann Travis who fired a school record score of 598. Drew Cheezum also posted a stellar performance with a personal best tying 595 while Michael Steinel (591), Mark Matheny (589) and Jacob Buchanan (589) rounded out team scoring for the Buckeyes. Josh Black led the way for the Ohio State individuals firing a score of 590. Alli Kissell (589) and Bailey Urbach (584) fired their second personal bests of the competition while Anthony Cuozzo (587), Chrissy Thomas (581), Brendan Whitaker (572), Quintin Wotring (572) and Patrick Sardo (559) rounded out the individual performances.
“I want to first congratulate the team for what has been another record breaking season that will culminate in our team competing at the NCAA Championships,” said head coach Ryan Tanoue. “From our match today, although our smallbore performance was not what we were expecting, as we have done all season we put that behind us and put forth a near record air rifle performance. With our score from today we are in position to qualify for the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row and it is an amazing feeling to see the team step up yet again in air rifle to solidify our position in the rankings. Although it will be our second year in a row qualifying for the NCAA Championships, the gravity of the accomplishment is absolutely not lost on me or this team. We have been though a lot together and those experiences have given us the perspective to truly appreciate what we have accomplished so far and what we will continue to push toward in the future.”
“Today was also such a bittersweet moment as every senior day is,” Tanoue continued. “We got to watch our seniors compete for the final time and they are an especially meaningful class for me as they were the first recruiting class that I brought in here at Ohio State. I want to take a moment to thank them again for all that they have done for our program over the past 4 seasons. Looking forward we have an unbelievable opportunity in front of us as we shift our preparation to the NCAA Championships that will be held here at Ohio State in March. It will be a unique experience for us to compete for the NCAA Championship on home turf and it is an opportunity that we will be absolutely prepared to take advantage of. We will excitedly wait for our official selection on Wednesday and look forward to hosting and participating in the championships next month.”
The NCAA Rifle Championships Selection Show will be on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. and will be streamed on www.NCAA.com
The 2017 NCAA Rifle Championships will be held in French Field House on the campus of The Ohio State University on Friday and Saturday, March 10-11.