Let's face it, this is Texas. Many of us grew up shooting guns, whether it be for hunting or shooting clay pigeons, or maybe just blowing up Halloween pumpkins. Others were born out of state or in families that didn't own guns. And then there are a select few who started shooting for fun and decided to try competing--and they realized they were really good at it. Meet the TCU Women's Rifle Team: a group of women who have a history of excellence in NCAA competition. Here are 10 things you need to know about them:
1. Our team is made up of 13 women from various backgrounds and countries. You can view the roster here. Schools are allowed to have an all-men's team, all-women's team, or coed team. During the regular season and NCAA Qualifier, each team must have a minimum of 4 athletes, but not more than 5 for each event. During the NCAA Championship, a school must have 4-5 shooters who will shoot in both events.
2. TCU won the 2010 and 2012 Rifle NCAA Championships. TCU hosted the 2010 NCAA Championships and was the first all-female squad to win the title.
3. Horned Frog (alumni) Sarah Sherer was part of Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics. She finished 7th in the Olympic Games.
4. The Frogs have qualified for every NCAA National Championship since 2007, making for 9 straight appearances.
5. Head Coach Karen Monez has been TCU's coach for 13 seasons now. She is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Military and spent 3 years with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit International Rifle Section and 22 seasons with the U.S. Army Reserve Shooting Team.
6. In each match, competitors compete in Smallbore and Air Rifle events.
Athletes fire .22 caliber Smallbore rifles from 3 positions (prone, standing, and kneeling) at targets placed 50 feet away. The bullseye measures 1 millimeter, which is slightly larger than the period at the end of this sentence. The athletes fire 20 rounds in each position, for a total of 60 shots, within a 120 minute time limit. A perfect score is 600.
Air Rifle Rules:
Athletes fire .177 caliber guns at targets placed 10 meters away. The bullseye is ½ millimeter wide, which is about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. The rifles can be either air or gas-powered and weigh up to 12 pounds. Athletes have 105 minutes to fire 60 shots from a standing position. A perfect score is 600.
7. TCU is part of the Patriot Rifle Conference in the NCAA. There are 6 teams in the conference, including Air Force, Alaska-Fairbanks, Nevada, Ohio State, TCU, and UTEP. The conference was created in 2013 for schools that have rifle teams but whose primary conference does not include rifle as a sponsored sport. In other words, the Big XII is missing out on major cool points.
8. The Rifle team's schedule is incredibly long compared to other sports (like football). It begins in October and ends with NCAA Finals in March. Their next match is this Saturday, February 20th, at the TCU Rifle Range. It will be the NCAA Qualifier.
9. TCU brought home the Patriot Rifle Conference Championship on February 7, 2016. They are undefeated this season and recently defeated UTEP. You can see the full schedule here, and the results here.
10. Six members of the Rifle team competed at the USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championships in December, during the regular season break. Hannah Black, Kelly Bogart, Rachel Garner, Mindy Miles, Barrett Ray, and Sally Li competed, along with 156 other female athletes. This was Part 1 of a 2-Part US Olympic Team Trial. Alumni Sarah Sherer, Sarah Beard, and Erin Lorenzen also competed, in addition to Casey Lutz, who is a 2016 signee. Sarah Sherer, Hannah Black, Mindy Miles, and Sarah Beard finished in the Top 10 and are invited to attend the second part of the Air Rifle Olympic Trials in June.
So if you're on or near campus this Saturday, stop by TCU's Rifle Range and watch some precision shooting by our Frogs. The event is indoors, free, and there's a viewing area designed for the public to sit comfortably and watch the targets LIVE (don't you love technology?!?). Honestly, you couldn't ask for better conditions as a fan. So don some purple and let's show these ladies some Frog love!