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Records fall when UT Martin opens rifle season

Records fall when UT Martin opens rifle season
Records fall when UT Martin opens rifle season | UTM, UT Martin rifle team, UTM rifle, Skyhawks rifle, Tillson, Bob Beard, Martin, Tennessee

Bob Beard
Ten new career highs and two broken school records highlighted the 2008 season opening weekend for the University of Tennessee at Martin rifle team during action held in Murray, Ky., and Memphis, Tenn. over a two-day span.
In Murray, the UT Martin women had an aggregate score of 4,447, while the Skyhawk mixed squad accumulated 4,529 points, just below Murray State’s 4,575 score. In smallbore, the mixed team earned 2,243 points, and the women’s squad tallied 2,184 points. In the air rifle event, the mixed team scored a total of 2,286 points while the women’s team earned 2,263 points.
In individual smallbore, Heather Tillson earned a career high 572 points (194 prone-189 standing-189 kneeling) to earn second place, while Rob Burrows finished in third place with 567 points (192-188-187). Alex Silvas turned in a solid performance with 560 points (196-174-190), while Jennifer Garbina was close behind with 556 points (194-178-184). Aliana Norris (551; 187-173-191) and Nick Combs (544; 194-164-186) had consistent finishes for the Skyhawks, while Kelsea Hunt (543; 183-181-179) and Kaitlin Chaffin (534; 188-169-177) rounded out the smallbore competition for the Skyhawks.
The air rifle competition brought out the best in the Skyhawks, as five of their eight shooters set career highs. Tillson once again led the Skyhawks, finishing in first place with a score of 586 (95-100-95-98-100-98), a career high. Burrows finished next best for UT Martin, with a career high 570 (88-96-97-94-97-98). Hunt also scored a career best 569 (96-95-95-94-92-97), as did Chaffin (569; 93-93-97-95-94-97). Silvas put up a respectable 566 (92-95-97-95-95-92), and Justin Grinolds finished with 564 points on 95-91-95-93-96-94 shooting. Norris (career high 563; 93-94-94-95-94-93) and Garbina’s 562 (91-95-93-90-96-97) rounded out the air rifle portion of the day for UT Martin.
Chaffin’s, Garbina’s, Hunt’s, and Norris’ total of 2,263 was the highest air rifle score ever by a UT Martin women’s team.
The Skyhawks then traveled to Memphis for the Tiger Open, hosted by University of Memphis. The UT Martin women’s team that consisted of four underclassmen in sophomore Chaffin, and freshmen Garbina, Hunt and Norris finished in second place in their division with a 2,283 air rifle score, which bested the record set less than 24 hours earlier by 20 points. The Skyhawk mixed team scored 2,273 points, good enough for third place in their division.
For the UT Martin women, three new career highs were set by Garbina (571), Hunt (581), and Chaffin (570), and Norris finished with a score of 561, just two off of her career high set in Murray.
Burrows’s career high score of 579 led the Skyhawk mixed team, as Silvas (562), Tillson (568), and Grinolds (564) concluded the day for UT Martin.
Rifle head coach Bob Beard was pleased with his team’s 2008 debut.
“For the weekend, we had a very good start to the season,” said Beard, who enters his 28th season at the helm of the UT Martin rifle program. “We need to work on our smallbore a bit but our overall performance in air rifle is well above the past couple of years.”
Beard also was impressed with his blend of seasoned veterans and newcomers.
“All of the freshmen, particularly the females, performed very well,” Beard said. “And we also had excellent performances from our two most experienced shooters in Burrows and Tillson.”

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