STATESBORO, Ga. – UAB fired a team score of 2261 to win the team smallbore title and the Blazers own Michael Dietz was named the Smallbore Athlete of the Year, while North Georgia’s Tobin Sanctuary won the individual title, on the first day of the Southern Conference Rifle Championship at Georgia Southern Shooting Sports Education Center on Saturday.
The tournament concludes Sunday with the air rifle competition. The SoCon will crown team air rifle and overall champions as well as an air rifle individual champion
UAB, The Citadel and North Georgia all put two of its scorers in the individual smallbore final. Wofford and Georgia Southern rounded out the individual smallbore final which featured the top eight shooters after three relays which determined the team scores.
The 2018 smallbore champions, North Georgia, came in second totaling 2254. The Nighthawks Tobin Sanctuary and Ricky Medina finished first and fifth, respectively, in the smallbore final.
The Citadel finished third with a score of 2249. The Bulldogs Isabelle Blystone and Max Brabston finished fourth and eight respectively.
VMI mixed team, Wofford and The VMI women finished fourth, five and sixth respectively, while Georgia Southern and The Citadel women rounded out the bottom of the pack in seventh and eighth.
Wofford’s Dan Wesson finished second and 2019 smallbore athlete of the year, UAB’s Michael Dietz, finished third while teammate Sophia Flores finished the day in seventh. Georgia Southern’s Courtney Weekley finishes out this year’s top eight smallbore athletes, finishing sixth.
It was UAB’s Michael Dietz who led the field heading into the final, posting a 573 in the first relay. Blystone and Brabston both fired a 571 to claim the top three spots heading into the final.
Fourth through eight was a close competition as all four athletes were separated by just a point from the competitor ahead of them. North Georgia’s Ricky Medina shot a 570 with Wofford’s Dan Wesson (569), Georgia Southern’s Courtney Weekley (568), North Georgia’s Tobin Sanctuary (567) and UAB’s Sophia Flores (566) right behind him to round out the top eight.
Sanctuary, a junior from Alstead, New Hampshire, claims the third consecutive smallbore title for North Georgia. Former teammate Dakota Spivey won the award in 2018 while Ruthanne Conner won the award in 2017.
Sanctuary was named first team All-SoCon in smallbore along with teammate Tobin Sanctuary. Dietz, Weekley and Georgia Southern’s Rosemary Kramer round out the first team.
Blystone, Flores and Wesson are joined on the second team by North Georgia’s Kimberlee Nettles and Lucas Gilliland.
Sunday’s air rifle competition gets underway at 7:30 a.m. with preparation and sighting, followed by the first relay at 7:45 a.m.
Smallbore team scores
1. UAB 2261
2. North Georgia 2254
3. The Citadel 2249
4. VMI 2221
5. Wofford 2198
6. VMI-W 2169
7. Georgia Southern 2156
8. The Citadel-W 1997
Smallbore individual final
1. Tobin Sanctuary, North Georgia
2. Dan Wesson, Wofford
3. Michael Dietz, UAB
4. Isabelle Blystone, The Citadel
5. Ricky Medina, UNG
6. Courtney Weekley, Georgia Southern
7. Sophia Flores, UAB
8. Max Brabston, The Citadel
Smallbore Athlete of the Year
Michael Dietz, UAB
All-Southern Conference Smallbore
Tobin Sanctuary, North Georgia
Michael Dietz, UAB
Ricky Medina, UNG
Rosemary Kramer, Georgia Southern
Courtney Weekley, Georgia Southern
Dan Wesson, Wofford
Isabelle Blystone, The Citadel
Sophia Flores, UAB
Kimberlee Nettles, North Georgia
Lucas Gilliland, North Georgia