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Skyhawk Rifle Ends the Season in the Top 20 Nationally

MARTIN, Tenn. – For the 30th time in the last 31 years, The University of Tennessee at Martin rifle team is represented in the final top-20 polls, as the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association slotted the Skyhawks at No. 16 in their season-ending polls released last week.

The polls were announced after the conclusion of the NCAA championships in Columbus, Ohio. West Virginia University brought home the national title and ends the season as the No. 1 ranked squad.

Under head coach Bob Beard, UT Martin has set a tradition of excellence in rifle as one of the Ohio Valley Conference’s top teams. The Skyhawks end the 2012-13 campaign as the third-highest ranked OVC squad in the national polls.

“I am very pleased not only that we stayed in the top-20 but we moved up four places from last year,” Beard said. “At one point in the season we had both teams ranked in the top-20 and that shows a lot of talent and hard work from our student-athletes.”

The Skyhawks placed three shooters on All-OVC teams this past season, led by Steve Hahn’s first team selection in smallbore and second team selection in air rifle. Dana Maurizio earned a spot on the All-OVC second team in air rifle while Nikki Kroll was named to the All-OVC Newcomer list for air rifle.

UT Martin set a pair of new program benchmarks in 2012-13. In the season opener at Memphis, the mixed team fired a 4,601 aggregate score – the best round in school history. They followed that up with a 2,331 point performance in air rifle at Murray State in January, another program-best.