Cyburt, GVSU shooting club open season

GVL / Courtesy - GV Shooting Club
Alex Cyburt practices on the range Saturday, March 19, 2016.

GV Shooting Club

GVL / Courtesy – GV Shooting Club Alex Cyburt practices on the range Saturday, March 19, 2016.

Mason Tronsor

Last year, the Grand Valley State shooting club had two alphas. One was senior Gregory Quante who graduated this past year. The other is current senior Alex Cyburt. Both marksmen qualified for national competition a year ago. With Quante out in the real world, it is time for Cyburt to take the reigns of the team.

“He is always striving to get better,” said GVSU coach Cameron Zwart. “We start the conference season this Saturday. I hope he can kind of carry us through the conference season.”

Cyburt is a second-year transfer student from Saline, Michigan. He transferred to GVSU from Washtenaw Community College. He had never shot a rifle in any competition setting before college. In his first year at GVSU, he gained the experience and knowledge to become an elite marksman.

“Remembering back to when I first joined the team, I know that all the new members are looking for someone to look up to and learn from,” Cyburt said. “I hope to be able to lead by example.”

Cyburt wants to make sure everyone on the team is in the right mindset for competitive shooting. The first competition of the season for the club was held at the Denmer Shooting Sports, Education and Training Center in East Lansing Sunday, Oct. 2. Cyburt led the team by finishing third overall in the men’s competition with a score of 505.1 (out of 654.0).

The surprise of the competition was GVSU’s freshman marksman Joseph Lentine, who finished fourth in the men’s division. He shot a 475.1, a fairly impressive score for a first-year competitor.

“I went to the match looking for experience,” Lentine said. “I went for the experience, however it always feels nice to do great in competition.”

Lentine is also a native of Saline. His experience in shooting was even less than Cyburt’s when he arrived to GVSU. However, his hard work in practice and dedication has helped propel him into a reliable teammate.

“I would not have expected that from someone who has never shot competitively before,” Cyburt said. “If Joe can keep up the determination he has shown in practice, I believe he is going to be a great asset to our team.”

Lentine was not the only freshman to contribute a solid score. Bloomfield Hills, Michigan native Alexander Straith finished seventh with a score of 404.5.

The final goal for the GVSU shooting club is to help every competitive shooter on the team qualify for nationals. Last year, only two qualified. This year, the expectations are raised and the future looks very bright.

“This season we want to qualify the entire team,” Zwart said. “We have a large new group of folks who have joined the team. They are showing up consistently and putting in a ton of practice time.”

The combination of experience and youth on this team is sure to benefit them moving forward. The club’s next event is Saturday, Oct. 8 at the Boilermaker Invitational.