NEW LONDON, Conn. -- After two weeks on the road, the Bears returned to the friendly confines of the Chase Hall Range complex and conference competition with a full head of steam. The Bears faced-off against John Jay College and Wentworth Institute of Technology in conference play and defeated both teams handily.
When the Bears' Air Rifle and Smallbore Rifle scores were combined, the aggregate of 4568 bested the old school record by fifteen points, set by the same team earlier in the season. The Bears defeated John Jay and Wentworth, 4568 to 4382 and 2089, respectively.
The Bears were led by freshman Grayson Wheeler's personal best 576, which included her tying the school Standing record of 192 set by Charles Ressel '09 in 2008. Wheeler was bolstered by Hunter Blankenship's 572, also a personal best for the freshman. Freshman Seth Strayer posted a 568 and junior Randall Ford closed out the scoring four with a 550. The Bears' 2266 team score total trimmed the Bloodhounds by 41 points. This is the third time this year the team has broken the smallbore record. Freshman Anthony Contreras set a personal best in smallbore, firing a 525.
Strayer took the lead in air rifle with a personal best 581. Right on his heels were Wheeler who tied her personal best with a 576, and Blankenship with yet another personal best of 575. This is the second time this season that Blankenship has had two personal-bests in a match. Ford's 570 gave the team the needed points to tie the Academy Air Rifle record of 2302. Freshman Aidan Uvanni posted a personal best in air rifle with a 556. The Bears defeated both John Jay and Wentworth in the team event, 2302 to 2257 and 2089, respectively.
The Bears, now at 5-13 overall and undefeated in conference play, are idle until the NCAA Qualifier at home on February 17th.