Shootin’ Utes bring out the bullets this weekend

While most students have been carrying textbooks and notebooks to class this week, others have been packing heat.

They have been practicing for the National Rifle Association Collegiate Pistol Sectional Championship, Feb. 11-13, at the Naval Science building.

This weekend’s competition will determine if any members of the Shootin’ Utes will be invited to the NRA Collegiate Pistol Nationals, which will take place in Ft. Benning, Ga., during Spring Break.

“The top 30 people in the nation are invited and the top 10 teams,” said Leslie Nelson, treasurer of the team.

At last weekend’s NRA open sectional match, the U’s Quinndon Sparks dominated the free-pistol match with a score of 523 out of a possible 600, beating Ute teammate Nelson by more than 20 points.

Ashley Davis, a junior, fired a two- point margin over Nelson in the women’s air pistol match at 367 of a possible 400.

Davis, however, will not have a chance to compete at the national level because contest rules require women’s teams to have at least three members. The Utah Precision Marksmanship Society has only two females on the team.

Although, members are competing locally, there are eight sectional championships happening across the country according to Matt DeLong, UPMS adviser. DeLong said that scores are shipped to the NRA, who then compiles all eight sectional scores and determines which teams and individuals can advance to Georgia.

Along with other competition and training activities, the UPMS conducts local monthly USAS pistol and rifle matches. These matches function as preliminary tryouts for athletes looking to secure an invitation to the annual USA Shooting National Championships.

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