Rifle Enters Season with Sights Set on Uncharted Territory
Aug. 22, 2002
TCU rifle enters the 2002-03 season with a firm grip on the school's record books. A year ago, the squad broke all four school shooting standards (individual and team smallbore; individual and team air rifle), and four of the five names that now make up the entire Horned Frog record book return to the TCU range this season. Leading the talented group of returnees are seniors Jessica Green and Stacy Hughes.
It took just one season for Green to establish herself as one of the most prolific shooters in TCU history. In 2001-02, she set the school's individual scoring records in both the smallbore and air rifle. She established the smallbore mark in her very first meet as a Horned Frog, notching a 1,116 at the University of San Francisco and shattered the air rifle standard with a 379 at Memphis.
In her fourth year on the squad, Hughes not only brings a wealth of experience back to the range, but also a new name, as the senior was married over the summer. She is the Frogs' second-leading returning scorer from a year ago with 2001-02 averages of 364 in the air rifle and 1,048 in smallbore. Additionally, she holds the highest career averages of shooters on this year's squad with more than one year of experience.
Green and Hughes also teamed up last year to lead the TCU Purple squad to school records in team air rifle and smallbore. They are the only two returning shooters to have helped the Frogs to both records - 1,465 in air rifle at Army and 4,231 in smallbore at Centenary.
"We are very lucky and excited to have Jessica and Stacy returning to anchor our squad," TCU head coach Roger Ivy said. "They give us a strong core for our team."
With such an abundance of talent returning, many coaches would be satisfied to go with what they already have in the fold. But, in search of the Frogs' first-ever appearance in the NCAA Championships, Ivy fortified his already strong corps with perhaps his most talented recruiting class. That class is led by a pair of highly touted freshmen who will contribute to the Purple team right way - Sherri Gallagher and Celeste Green.
Gallagher, the owner of nine national records, is a veteran of national and international competition, including as a member of the United States' Under-21 squad which captured the World Championship in 2000. The Prescott, Ariz. native is also the first American woman to ever qualify for the Queen's Finals of the British Nationals three times, highlighted by a fifth-place finish (out of 1,850 shooters) in 2002.
Green, the younger sister of Jessica, is no stranger to national or international competition either. She has represented the United States on numerous national teams in international meets, including the U.S. National and Development teams in 2001-02 and the Junior World Championship team in 2002. At the 2002 ISSF World Shooting Championships in Lahti, Finland held in July, Green placed 13th in the world in the Women's Junior 50m prone. That score was good for second among American shooters.
"If you mention Sherri and Celeste's names at shooting competitions around the world, people will know exactly who you are talking about," Ivy said. "Not only are they very talented, but they both have incredible work ethics and desire to be even better than they already are. They will make us better right away."
Rounding out the Purple squad will be alternate Amber Turvin. Turvin will likely shoot with the White squad until Hughes' December graduation, at which time she will regain the spot on the Purple team that she held at the end of the 2001-02 season. Turvin joined Jessica Green and Hughes in TCU's school record-setting smallbore performance at Centenary last February.
The infusion of talent on the Purple team also means good things for the White squad, which will field an experienced and talented stable of shooters in 2002-03. Seniors and three-year letterwinners Andy Pratt and Lindsay Simm will anchor the squad. Pratt will join Turvin in shooting both smallbore and air rifle, while Simm will focus solely on air rifle competition as she continues to recover from a wrist injury that has hampered her for much of her TCU career.
"Somebody is going to have to step up for us when Stacy graduates in December," Ivy said. "If someone does, our chances of going to the NCAA Championships won't take a hit."
Also projected to see action with the White team are junior Dana O'Shea and sophomores Alisha Fields and Joncee Moulder, while newcomers Trista Blyther, Stephanie Lawrenz, Jess Parras and Katie Swetala will all fight for shooting time with the White squad in the second half of the campaign.
In all, Ivy sees this season developing into something special.
"I have had glimpses in the past of us taking the next step and making an appearance in the NCAAs," Ivy said, "but, for whatever reason, it has never worked out."
"But, with the makeup of this year's team, I see that as a very realistic goal this year."
The Frogs will take the first step toward reaching that goal when they open fire at the University of Nevada on September 7.