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UAB wins 2019 rifle championship
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 03/03/2019
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2019 Southern Conference Rifle Champions, UAB Blazers
Courtesy: Southern Conference

STATESBORO, Ga. – For the first time in school history, UAB took the title of the 2019 Southern Conference Rifle Champions. UAB’s Michael Dietz and The Citadel’s Isabelle Blystone were named co-freshman of the year while Georgia Southern head coach Sandra Worman and UAB’s head coach Lori Goodwin were named co-coaches of the year. Georgia Southern’s Rosemary Kramer was named the Air Rifle Athlete of the Year as well as the 2019 Air Rifle Champion and Holly Hayes was awarded the pinnacle award.

After winning smallbore on Saturday, UAB posted a score of 2326 to give the Blazers a 4651 aggregate score. North Georgia, who finished second, shot a 2317 in air rifle, totaling 4571 overall. The Citadel (4556) finished third overall, followed by Georgia Southern (4481), Wofford (4433), VMI women (4429) and The Citadel women (4036).

UAB had three shooters in the air rifle final (Lilly Vonderau, Michael Dietz and Zoe Lum) while Georgia Southern (Rosemary Kramer and Courtney Weekley) North Georgia (Ricky Medina, Kimberlee Nettles) and The Citadel (Isabelle Blystone) also each had representation on the final line. Kramer posted the highest score during the relay portion of the day, shooting a 598, tying the SoCon air rifle record, which she set earlier this year, earning her the title of air rifle athlete of the year and the 2019 Air Rifle Champion. She was also named to this seasons air rifle first team.

Joining Kramer on this year’s air rifle first team is teammate Courtney Weekley, North Georgia’s Ricky Medina, UAB’s Micheal Dietz and The Citadel’s Robert Brabston.

Lori Goodwin and Sandra Worman, who were named co-SoCon coaches of the year, won the award after coaching their teams to regular season conference records of 7-0 and 3-3, respectively.

Dietz, a freshman from Peralta, New Mexico, had a breakout freshman season for the Blazers, winning the 2019 smallbore athlete of the year award as well as finishing in the top three in both the smallbore and air rifle final. He came into the weekend second in smallbore (571.636), third in air rifle (582.727) and second in aggregate (1154.363).

Blystone, a freshman from Aiken, South Carolina, had a standout season for the Bulldogs. She entered the weekend seventh in smallbore (563.75), eleventh in air rifle (575.769) and eighth overall in aggregate (1139.519). Blystone finished eighth in Sunday’s air rifle final, posting a score of 115.3. This is the second straight year The Citadel has had a cadet-athlete earn this honor after Max Brabston was named the SoCon Freshman of the Year last season.

Hayes, who finished eleventh overall in the smallbore competition on Saturday, was the Pinnacle Award winner which is given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on the championship-winning team. Hayes, a sophomore from Los Alamos, New Mexico, is pursuing a public health.

Jordan Blankenship represents UAB on the air rifle all-conference second team while Kimberlee Nettles, Tobin Sanctuary and Lucas Gilliland represent North Georgia. This years second team is rounded out by The Citadel’s Allison Auten.

The 2018 NCAA Rifle Championship will be held March 8-9 in Morgantown, West Virginia.

2019 Southern Conference Rifle Championship
Aggregate team scores                SB           AR           Agg.

  1. UAB                                   2261        2321           4582                              
  2. North Georgia                     2254         2317           4571
  3. The Citadel                         2249        2307            4556
  4. Georgia Southern                2156        2325            4481
  5. VMI                                    2221        2257            4478
  6. Wofford                              2198        2257            4433
  7. VMI-W                               2169        2260            4429
  8. The Citadel-W                    1997        2039            4036

Air Rifle Athlete of the Year
Rosemary Kramer, Georgia Southern

Freshman of the Year
Michael Dietz, UAB

Isabelle Blystone, The Citadel

Coaches of the Year
Sandra Worman, Georgia Southern

Lori Goodwin, UAB

Pinnacle Award (student-athlete with the highest GPA on the championship-winning team)
Holly Hayes, UAB 

All-Southern Conference Air Rifle
First team

Rosemary Kramer, Georgia Southern

Ricky Medina, North Georgia

Michael Dietz, UAB

Courtney Weekley, Georgia Southern

Robert Brabston, The Citadel  

Second team
Jordan Blankenship, UAB

Kimberlee Nettles, North Georgia

Tobin Sanctuary, North Georgia

Lucas Gilliland, North Georgia

Allison Auten, The Citadel

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