Service academies bested in pistol as The Citadel and Ohio State reach the winners circle

Tired of seeing the Army and Navy’s rivalry play out during the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships at Ft. Benning, shooters from The Citadel decided it was time to take matters into their own hands.

The Military College of South Carolina, located just outside Charleston, arrived at the firing line this morning with one mission in mind for the Standard Pistol Championships: win. 2132 points later — mission accomplished.

Standard Pistol (also known as sport pistol) is a .22 LR (Long Rifle) handgun with a minimum capacity of five rounds. Additional requirements including the use of open sights as well as a restrictions on grip design.

Competitors are asked to shoot three rapid fire 20-shot stages from 25 meters. Each stage is broken down further into four series of five shots.

To top it all off the pistol shooters must do all of this while being timed. Starting off easy, competitors have 150 seconds to complete each of the first stage’s series. After that it gets a little tougher. Competitors only have 20 seconds per series in the second stage. Finally the third stage’s series must each be shot within 10 seconds.

Just to make things more difficult, the Standard Pistol Championship doesn’t feature a final to settle the individual winner. Your score after the third stage is it; no chance for redemption if you fell short.

The Citadel’s has quite the task in front of them. Both Army and Navy have been shooting at a high level during their push for this year’s overall championship.

Standard Pistol was also the two service academies’ event. West Point had won the championship the last four years and the Naval Academy the two years prior to that. Between the 32 years of the Standard Pistol Championship, the two had won 22 times.

But the past is not indicative of the future and The Citadel cadets posted a 2132 of a possible 2400. An all-around effort, the highest and lowest scores on the team were only 16 points apart.

In second came West Point, 18 points behind at 2114. The Naval Academy rounded out the top three with a 2102. Not shooting as evenly as The Citadel’s team, Army and Navy’s difference between the highest and lowest scorers were 43 and 40 respectively.

Standard Pistol’s individual champion did not come from any of these schools, though. That honor went to Joe Totts of Ohio State University. Besting Oregon State University’s Ethan Morrison by one point, Totts’ 548 was just enough to avoid a tiebreaker and earn him the title.

Although neither Army nor Navy won this match, two championships remained and the overall championship – the biggest prize – is still up for grabs.

Image courtesy NRAblog

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