CHARLESTON, S.C. – The 24th-ranked Citadel mixed rifle team opened the 2019 portion of the season with a strong showing against No. 6 Alaska Fairbanks, Wednesday evening at the Inouye Marksmanship Center. The Nanooks took the dual match 4669-4559.
The Bulldogs put together their best aggregate score of the season, a 4559 featuring a 2247 in three-position smallbore and a 2312 in air rifle. The air rifle score bested the previous season best by just one point and the smallbore score is the second-best team smallbore score of the season.
Alaska's top five shooters swept the top five individual scores led by Kellen McAferty's 1174 aggregate score, including the top mark of 588 in smallbore. Haley Castillo, who finished second overall, shot a 595 in air rifle to take top marks in the gun.
Freshman Izzie Blystone paced the Bulldogs in both guns, and shot personal bests in each, to finish sixth overall with an aggregate score of 1152. Blystone started the evening off with a sixth-place 567 in smallbore and wrapped up the competition with a fourth-place showing in air rifle with an impressive 585.
Senior Allison Auten ended the match with an eighth-place finish overall with an aggregate score of 1140. Auten finished eighth in both disciplines, firing a 561 in smallbore followed by a season-best 579 in air.
Sophomore Max Brabston and junior Alexander McAlear each finished in the top 10 overall. Brabston put together an 1134 to sit ninth and McAlear ended the match with an 1133. Brabston finished second on the team and seventh in the competition in smallbore with a 562, while McAlear fired off a 10th-best 557. McAlear followed that up with a ninth-best 576 in air rifle and Brabston finished 10th in the gun with a 572.
Senior Leah Wallace rounded out the Bulldogs' counting five with a 1088 aggregate score, made up of a 519 in smallbore and a 569 in air.
Freshman Emily Perkins shot unattached and fired off an 1111 aggregate score, including a 551 in smallbore and a 560 in air.
Tierra Price, Alisha Rabaca, Chelsea Sitarik and Megan Waters of The Citadel women's team all shot during the air rifle portion of the competition. Price and Sitarik led the way with matching 533s. Waters fired off a 495 and Rabaca shot a 421.
The Bulldogs will travel to Jacksonville, Alabama this weekend for another dual match against a top-10 foe, this time against the 10th-ranked Gamecocks of Jacksonville State. The 'Dogs and Gamecocks will face off on Saturday, Jan. 12.