Team competition key for Hutchision rilfe

FAIRBANKS-Now we go into the rifle range with the Hutchison Hawks. Hutch has won its first three matches of the year to start the 2013-2014 season despite losing four seniors from last year. Last year the Hawks won the region title by defeating Lathrop who was undefeated coming into the region championships.

Hutchison has had a trio of strong performances from the duo of sophomore Amy Gentry and lone senior Gabe Stutz. They've shot the best air rifle and smallbore scores in their first three matches.

Gentry took both smallbore and air rifle shooting 569 and 551 last week against West Valley while Stutz was second shooting 560 and 543 in air and small.

Gentry went to nationals with the Midnight Sharpshooters in the offseason and has improved greatly for the Hawks. Stutz says he's had to step up his game because of Gentry's progression.

"This year she went to nationals in air, in three peat air so she really bumped up her scores. It's been challenging for me to hear," Stutz said.

"I know it kind of bugs him a little bit but I try to encourage him," Gentry said. "I know it's really like frustrating that he's been doing it for so long and I'm just kind of like a new year shooter. I don't know it's just really fun."

The team is benefitting from the competition between the two. The Hawks broke their team air rifle record in the second week of the season by more than 30 points.

"Competition on the team defintely makes a difference," Hutchison rifle coach Dave Stutz said. "But there not the only ones, from the bottom up everybody's pushing. The initial climb was pretty steep and now everybody's kind of leveling off a little bit so now we're just trying to pick up points every time we shoot."

The Hawks shoot against North Pole on Nov. 9.