Bears Sweep Team Events at MAC Championship

Hunter Blankenship
Hunter Blankenship

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Coast Guard swept the team events at the Mid Atlantic Rifle Conference (MAC) Championship Tournament at MIT.

The Bears had gone into the tournament seeded first in smallbore and second in air rifle in team competition and swept both events.

Entering the tournament Coast Guard held six of the top ten individual season averages in smallbore, with the top three being Bears, and five of the top ten in air rifle.

Freshman Seth Strayer, seeded second, battled first seed Lily Graham, of John Jay. The pair went back and forth throughout the 60 shot match with Graham slipping by Strayer 577 to 575. The pair finished the tournament in the same order they did in season average.

Freshman Grayson Wheeler was third, posting a 567, classmate Hunter Blankenship shot a 566 as junior Randall Ford clinched the win with a 561. Aidan Uvanni, a freshman, served as a reserve shooter. Coast Guard suffered its only regular season conference air rifle loss to John Jay and turned the tables on the Bloodhounds with a 2269 to 2243 championship victory.

Blankenship and Strayer went head-to-head for the individual smallbore title and were tied going into the final standing stage. Blankenship turned on the heat and beat Strayer by seven points to notch the individual championship, 570 to 563.

Graham bested Wheeler by two points, 558 to 556, to take third overall and break Coast Guard's stranglehold in smallbore. Ford again provided the fourth score, 548, that sealed the Bears victory, 2237 to 2154, over John Jay. Freshman Anthony Contreras built up championship experience as the reserve.

Coast Guard built a formidable lead in smallbore and further padded it in air rifle giving them a 4506 to 4397 victory in the aggregate. Also falling to the Bears were MIT, SUNY Maritime, and SUNY Plattsburgh.

The Bears completed the season with record setting scores for both the team and individuals. Post season honors are to be announced soon and Coast Guard is well positioned to take home all-academic honors from both the College Rifle Coaches Association and the MAC as well place shooters on the MAC All-Conference and All-Rookie teams.