Rifle Team: Season ending with bang

With the regular season finished and only the NCAA championships ahead, TCU rifle head coach Karen Monez said the team has compiled a season that they can be more than pleased with.”I’m very proud of their performance this season,” Monez said. “It shows dedication to the sport. I think we’ve made phenomenal progress this year.”

The Horned Frogs finished the 2005-2006 season with a 7-2 record in head-to-head competitions with other schools and recorded one tournament first place finish, a record-breaking performance at the UTEP Triangular on Jan. 28-29. This year’s results show a marked improvement over last season’s final numbers; in 2005 the Frogs ended the year with only a 1-6 record and recorded no first place finishes.

Senior Celeste Green said the successful season can be partially attributed to the amount of focus the team showed before competition started.

“When we started the year, we set some goals (score-wise,)” Green said. “So far we’ve been able to reach and exceed those goals.”

The squad will also look to build on this year’s success in 2007. The roster only has two graduating seniors, and Monez said the already solid core of athletes will be supported with new recruits next year.

“We’re bringing back a lot of experience,” Monez said. “We will also bring in some new freshmen to pair with more experienced shooters, which is what you have to have competing against quality teams.”

Junior Nikki LeCompte said she is looking forward to mixing next year’s rookies into the fold.

“I’m very excited to see all the old faces and the new ones, too,” LeCompte said. “We’ll have to try and initiate them.”

Although the team as a whole has no remaining competitions, it will be at least a few more weeks before any of the shooters will know if they will compete individually in the NCAA Championships. Monez said she was not sure if anyone would be advancing, but she had a reluctant prediction.

“I hope to know in the next two weeks,” Monez said. “We have a good chance of placing one of our shooters. I wonder who that will be?”

One shooter who might qualify is freshman Tanya Gorin, who both set and broke several TCU records this season. Gorin will also be featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd, a piece that highlights the achievements of student-athletes nationwide.

In modest fashion, Gorin down played the importance of the recognition.

“I really don’t know that much about it,” Gorin said with a smile.