Shooting teams champions at Upper East Coast tournament
After placing third last year, Liberty University’s men’s and women’s shooting teams combined to win the Upper East Coast Conference Championships, Saturday and Sunday at the Prince George’s County Trap and Skeet Center in Glenn Dale, Md.
In the team standings, the Flames and Lady Flames finished first with a combined total of 1,576 points, well in front of Maryland (1,484), which was runner-up for the second year in a row. Virginia Tech (1,394) placed third, followed by JMU (1,384), Washington College (1,376), Tennessee (1,337), Delaware (1,279), and George Mason (1,146).
“We are making great progress and have some great recruits, phenomenal young competitors,” Liberty Head Coach Dave Hartman said. “We had six shooters in the top 10 for high overall, which is amazing.”
|Sophomore James Bushnell shoots in American Skeet.|
Liberty freshman Justin Johnson was the high overall men’s champion in a field of 62 competitors with a combined score of 317, six points in front of Tennessee runner-up William Ponder (311). The Flames also posted the fourth through eighth best scorers — sophomore Jacob Davis (306), senior captain Josh Lancaster (304), junior Tommy Hartman (302), freshman Carl Pongs (301), and sophomore James Bushnell (298).
Davis posted the high score in the American Skeet competition (98 out of 100), with Lancaster a close third (97) and Johnson fourth (96). Bushnell was the overall winner in the American Trap (92) with Davis and Hartman tying for seventh (87) and Johnson tied for 10th (86).
Johnson won a tie-breaker to earn a gold medal in the Sporting Clays with Hartman capturing the silver medal after also firing a 91. Pongs (90) and Bushnell (88) followed in fifth and sixth place, respectively. In the Super Sporting Clays, the Flames placed six in the top 10 — Johnson (first, 44), Pongs (second, 43), Hartman (fifth, 41), senior Richard Allen (seventh, 40), junior Casey Williams (ninth, 40), and Davis (10th, 39).
In the women’s high overall standings, sophomores Elizabeth Wesner (287) and captain Chloe Sterner (269), the Lady Flames’ only two representatives, placed second and fifth, respectively, out of 18 contestants.
Wesner was the overall champion in American Trap with her round of 95 and also placed second in American Skeet, fourth in Sporting Clays, and fifth in Super Sporting Clay. Sterner took second in Sporting Clays, third in Super Sporting Clays, fifth in American Skeet, and sixth in American Trap.
Complete results are available online.
Liberty — which placed third out of 14 Division IV schools at the ACUI Collegiate Sporting Clay National Championships at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio as a first-year program last spring — will send 10 men’s and women’s shooters back to Texas for the 50th annual event on March 26-31, when it will move up to Division III to compete against approximately 36 teams, including regional rivals JMU, Maryland, Virginia, and Virginia Tech.