GVSU shooting club finishes fourth in smallbore, air rifle at WIRC Championship

GVL / Courtesy - GVSU Shooting Club

GVSU Shooting Club

GVL / Courtesy – GVSU Shooting Club

Brendan McMahon

The No. 6-ranked Grand Valley State shooting club finished fourth in both the smallbore and air rifle team competitions during the Western Intercollegiate Rifle Conference Championship at Purdue University Saturday, Feb. 25.

Alex Cyburt, Joseph Lentine, Ethan Potts, and Christain Yap made up the Lakers’ smallbore foursome. Cyburt led the way for the Lakers with a personal best 513 score, good enough for 19th overall in the competition.

Collectively, the foursome shot a season best 1973 out of 2400. This score was a 10 percent improvement over the conference season average, making the GVSU smallbore team the Most Improved Team in the conference, as voted on by coaches.

“We had a huge increase in our score in smallbore from last year to this year so that’s hard not to smile at,” Lentine said. “We all feel we did really well.”

The Lakers air rifle team consisted of David Cantillon, Alex Straith, Lentine and Yap. This foursome also recorded their season high score with 2119. This air rifle group was also awarded Most Improved Team with a five percent improvement.

“I think it was a pretty good showing. It was our highest scores all season,” said GVSU coach Cameron Zwart. “I was pretty pleased with how the guys showed up. They shot pretty well.”

The Lakers were not only honored with Most Improved in air rifle and smallbore, Zwart was named the conference’s Smallbore Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

“It shows how well the team shot, it’s not just me, it’s everything the team has done to this point,” Zwart said. “I also got a lot of help from assistant coach Gerry Cooke, we would not have been in this position we’re in without him.”

Cooke is just in his first year as assistant coach with the Lakers, but has already helped the team improve primarily in the air rifle competitions.

The Lakers competed again just days after the conference championship in the Orion Virtual Matches. The Lakers dominated the field of 41 competitors, finishing third in the air rifle and first in the smallbore with a score of 1537.

Teams from Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, North Dakota and even Korea submitted scores for the month of February.

The Orion Virtual Matches are monthly competitions that the Lakers compete in. The competition is restricted to those who have the virtual operating system from the company Orion Scoring System.

The Lakers we able to stay at their range and submit their scores electronically, instantaneously ranking them up against teams from all over the world that do the same.

“Nothing compares to shooting directly next to your competitor; however, these virtual matches are nice because we have the opportunity against teams that otherwise we wouldn’t get to compete against,” Zwart said. “There is no need to travel and it really decreases the expenses of a match.”

Lentine once again led the way for the Lakers in smallbore shooting with a season high 504. Cyburt was just behind him with an impressive 497.

Lentine, who finished ranked No. 10 overall as an individual in these competitions, also led the team in air rifle with his season-best score of 551. Yap ranked just after him with a score of 548.

Next up for the Lakers is the CMP air rifle match next Saturday, March 11 in Ohio.