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North Georgia wins 2018 Rifle Championship
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 03/04/2018
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North Georgia captured its second straight SoCon title
Courtesy: Southern Conference

CHARLESTON, S.C. – For the second year in a row, North Georgia won the Southern Conference Rifle Championship and The Citadel’s William Smith was named SoCon Coach of the Year. The Citadel’s Robert Brabston was named the SoCon Freshman of the Year, North Georgia’s Ruthanne Conner won the pinnacle award and Georgia Southern’s Rosemary Kramer was named the Air Rifle Athlete of the Year.

After winning smallbore on Saturday, North Georgia posted a score of 2326 to give the Nighthawks a 4615 aggregate score. The Citadel, who finished second, also shot a 2326 in the air rifle, totaling 4567 overall. VMI (4510) finished third overall, followed by UAB (4506), Georgia Southern (4504), VMI women (4427), Wofford (4426) and The Citadel women (4193).

North Georgia and The Citadel each had three shooters in the air rifle final with Courtney Weekley and Rosemary Kramer shooting for Georgia Southern. Weekley posted the highest score during the relay portion of the day, shooting a 590. Kramer, the 2018 SoCon Air Rifle Athlete of the Year, finished second overall with a score of 242.9 in the finals, earning first team all-conference honors. Kramer, a junior from Culloden, Georgia, came in to the weekend averaging 582.80 in SoCon air rifle matches, good for second in the conference behind Kimberlee Nettles of North Georgia. 

The Citadel’s Allison Auten, who fired a 587 in the relay section, shot a 246.3 in the finals to win the air rifle individual title. Auten, who entered the weekend fifth in SoCon air rifle average (579.667), was named shooter of the month two times in the discipline this season. Auten earned first team all-conference in the air rifle and second team all-conference in the smallbore. 

William Smith, who was named SoCon Coach of the Year in 2017, won the award after coaching both the co-ed and mixed teams for The Citadel in 2018, guiding the co-ed squad to a 5-2 conference record.

Brabston, a freshman from Fairfax, Virginia, had an impactful rookie season for the Bulldogs, winning SoCon Shooter of the Month in both the smallbore and air rifle disciplines in the month of October. Brabston entered the weekend fourth in both smallbore (567.67) and air rifle (579.92) average and second in aggregate average (1147.23). Brabston finished fourth in Sunday’s air rifle and was named all-conference in the discipline.

North Georgia’s Dakota Spivey, the 2018 smallbore athlete of the year, and Conner were the only two shooters to earn first team all-conference honors in both smallbore and air rifle. 

Conner, who finished fifth in the air rifle finals, was the Pinnacle Award winner which is given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on the championship-winning team. Conner, a senior from Coleville, Washington, is pursuing a master’s in public administration and currently holds a 3.9 grade point average. 

Alexander McAlear represents The Citadel on the air rifle all-conference second team, while Courtney Weekley and Lydia Odlin represent Georgia Southern. North Georgia’s Lucas Gilliland and Kimberlee Nettles were named second team all-conference in the discipline.

The 2018 NCAA Rifle Championship will be held March 8-10 in Charleston, South Carolina. 

2018 Southern Conference Rifle Championship
Aggregate team scores                SB           AR           Agg.

  1. North Georgia                        2289         2326        4615
  2. The Citadel                            2241         2326        4567
  3. VMI                                        2228         2282        4510
  4. UAB                                       2228         2278        4506
  5. Georgia Southern                  2193         2311        4504
  6. VMI-W                                   2173         2254        4427
  7. Wofford                                  2170         2256        4426
  8. The Citadel-W                       2031         2162        4193

Air Rifle Athlete of the Year
Rosemary Kramer, Georgia Southern

Freshman of the Year
Robert Brabston, The Citadel

Coach of the Year
William Smith, The Citadel

Pinnacle Award (student-athlete with the highest GPA on the championship-winning team)
Ruthanne Conner, North Georgia 

All-Southern Conference Air Rifle
First team

Allison Auten, The Citadel
Rosemary Kramer, Georgia Southern
Dakota Spivey, North Georgia
Robert Brabston, The Citadel
Ruthanne Conner, North Georgia 

Second team
Courtney Weekley, Georgia Southern
Alexander McAlear, The Citadel
Kimberlee Nettles, Georgia Southern
Lydia Odlin, Georgia Southern
Lucas Gilliland, North Georgia

                                                                                                      -www.SoConSports.com-

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