Tennessee Tech looks to break the streak of five consecutive Ohio Valley Conference rifle championships by the Jacksonville State Gamecocks this weekend at the 2010 OVC Rifle Championship competition. The two-day event, which takes place tomorrow and Sunday, will be held on the campus of Murray State University in Murray, KY. Along with the Golden Eagles, teams from Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, and UT- Martin will compete for the Championship. The roster contains seven members under head coach Steve Law. The Rifle team has participated in three invitationals this season and six regular competitions. A tournament was also played at Jacksonville State University in late November. Tech also hosted the 19th annual James Newkirk Invitational, where it placed fourth overall.
In November 2009, Austin Litherland was named OVC Rifle Athlete of the Month. Litherland is a junior from St. Francisville, La. and shot, 578, 581, 585, 589, and 576 in Tennessee Tech’s competitions this year. He improved on his high scores three consecutive weeks to lead the Golden Eagles. His 589 in air rifle is a career high.
During the competition on January 30-31 against Ole Miss and West Virginia, senior Curtis Gagne fired a season-high 578, just five points off his career best. Austin Litherland was next for the Golden Eagles with a 576 air rifle total, followed by Jessica McCauley with a 569 and Jonathan Zimmerer at 563. The score for McCauley and Zimmerer was a season-high, and Zimmerer’s established a new career-best.
In the 2009-2010 Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association poll, Tech was ranked 27th out of a total 29 teams. UT Martin ranks 24th, Morehead Sate 25th, and Jacksonville State 26th. Murray State leads the ranking in 10th place.
The competition is set to begin tomorrow at 8 a.m. CT.