FAIRBANKS-Tuesday is our Nanook Corner Day. Recently the Nanook Rifle team had its Alumni Match to start the season. Current players and alumni competed and mingled and some shooters got a chance to go head to head with an Olympic gold medalist.
On Sunday the current Nanooks went up against the Alumni for their first match of the year in rifle. UAF won 4683-4594. The rifle teams point totals were a strong indicator of how good the team could be this year. This team was picked to finish third in the new Patriot Rifle Conference.
"We had a goal set for 4680 and they ended up breaking that by a couple points," rifle head coach Dan Jordan said. "That is over our highest score last year so to start out the season doing that well is really impressive and how they shot against the alum today was real neat."
Jamie (Beyerle) Gray, a 2012 Olympic Gold medalist and 2013 Nanook Hall of Fame inductee, likes what she sees from the current team.
"Today their first match of the season, they were you know in the 4680s which is a respectable score. I mean I can't see it just [not] getting better and better throughout the season. So It's pretty exciting to see them start the season out pretty good," Gray said. "They definitely have some great experience on the team, a lot of international experience, so it'll be exciting to follow them this season."
The morning match and 20 shot mini match in the afternoon even helped the Olympian who hasn't shot since the London Games.
"Great practice for me to just have that ability to shoot a practice final and see what I need to work on so that was great," Gray said.
UAF Rifle sophomore Tim Sherry shot a 586 in air rifle and won the 20 shot mini match. But the highlight of the day for him was shooting next to Gray.
"I've shot next to a lot of really good shooters before but it was interesting getting to shoot next to her this time. Kind of nerve racking a little bit but it was still fun." Sherry added, "there's not a lot of chance[s] to shoot with them (alumni) most of the time so it was a good chance to kind of test ourselves at the beginning of this year and have some fun with it as well."
The rifle team starts their season at home on Oct 12 and 13 as they host NC State and Ole Miss.