Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Perspective: Shooting club makes mark in Boston contest

The Marksmanship Club competitors shoot at targets at the Mid-Atlantic Conference in Boston.

 

By Laraib Asim

Editor’s Note: Laraib Asim reports on the Marksmanship Club’s participation in the Mid-Atlantic Conference as a competitor.

 

While SUNY Plattsburgh students were catching up on sleep after an exhausting week, the Marksmanship Club’s top five competitors were on the road to Boston at 5:30 am on a Saturday to compete against three National Collegiate Athletic Association rifle teams at MIT’s range.

This is the club’s 10th year competing in the Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference (MAC) Championships.

Headed by Coach Peter Visconti, the team of fairly new members was in high spirits as they shot with a .22 caliber and an air rifle. 

While they placed fourth in both competitions, they left the range beaming as the team had achieved a personal high score in the air rifle match. All the shooters scored more than 500 points out of 600, amounting to 3,995 points.

“You guys were fucking phenomenal,” Assistant Coach Timothy Peters said. “It’s great that you guys just started shooting and got to go to MIT and shoot against NCAA teams.”

The MAC Championship takes place every semester and is one of the most anticipated competitions for the Plattsburgh team. Only four colleges qualified to compete this semester: MIT, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Norwich and SUNY Plattsburgh. In the past, the Cardinals have brought awards from the championship and Visconti was awarded Coach of the Year in 2017-18.

“The club has been very successful and competes against NCAA-level competition with both assistant coaches, including myself, having prior NCAA-level shooting experience,”  Visconti said. 

Five miles away from Plattsburgh’s campus next to Woodruff Pond lies the Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club. This club is open to everyone and is reserved for college students on Monday evenings to shoot free of cost with guns and ammunition provided after a safety rundown.

“Students have the option to participate competitively as part of its team or participate recreationally, attending without the stress of competition,” Visconti said.

Captain and President of the Marksmanship Club Nick Alkobi first heard about this club through an involvement fair in 2021. He said the key to improving is staying consistent and patient while considering the gun safety rules.

“It’s going to wear you out if you are not using the right methods and tactics,” Alkobi said. “It’s important to have a good time too.”

The Marksmanship Club actively promotes the club’s activities at student fairs, the Angell College Center and the club’s Facebook page run by Visconti.

“Many of our members have never fired a rifle before. It’s an excellent way for those in the criminal justice field to learn the skills necessary to help them in any law enforcement academy.” Visconti said.

Peters talked about the club’s long-term goals. He would like to form a core team that goes out to shoot competitively and is selected for PSU’s team based on their level of experience.

“Ultimately, I would like to do more practices and some more formal training where students get the chance to shoot prone all day,” Peters said.

Peters wants to ensure students practice well before the upcoming matches. The team submits weekly scores for the National Rifle League, which Visconti has been the director of since 2017.

 

Via SUNY Plattsburgh Marksmanship Club on Facebook
From left to right: Coach Peter Visconti, Ebtisam Mohammed, Laraib Asim, Makenna Szary, Nick Alkobi, Tori Ramos, Assistant Coach Timothy Peters, Kyle Smith and University Police Officer Erich Flanz pose at the Mid-Atlantic Conference in Boston Feb. 24.
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