GVSU shooting club wins two virtual events
The events were held online in Comstock Park, Michigan
The Grand Valley State shooting club won two monthly Orion Scoring Virtual Events Tuesday, Jan. 31. The event, which is an online event specifically designed to be fun for the shooters, is a way for college shooters to be able to test their skills and compare them with other competitors around the country. The GVSU students were shooting from Comstock Park, Michigan.
Laker shooters dominated Standing Air Rifle and Three Position Rifle events, both times being led by freshman sharpshooter Joseph Lentine who posted a personal best 563.8 in Standing and a 504.9 in Three Position, good for second and first in the events, respectively. The Standing Air Rifle competition saw seven GVSU shooters in the top eight while it was nothing but Lakers at the top of the leaderboard in Three Position Rifle.
Second year head coach Cameron Zwart was impressed with the way his team performed, especially regarding the performance of his budding freshman star.
“It represents that the hard work that these folks are putting in is paying off, particularly with Joseph Lentine,” Zwart said. “He’s a freshman who had never fired a firearm in his life before joining the club. He never misses a meeting and he’s reaping the rewards.”
Other Lakers with strong outings were freshman Alexander Straith (3rd place in Standing, 6th place in Three Position), senior Alex Cyburt (4th place in Standing, 2nd place in Three Position), sophomore Christian Yap (5th place in Standing, 4th place in Three Position), junior David Cantillon (6th place in Standing, 5th place in Three Position), and sophomore Sidney Selvig (8th place in Standing, 7th place in Three Position).
Zwart was also pleased with Cyburt’s performance.
“He had a good showing in the event, he went 4th and 2nd overall. Two pretty strong showings there," Zwart said. "He had a really strong showing in the Peninsula Event against Michigan Tech where he beat 14 total competitors there. Cyburt’s just a second year shooter so he’s progressed pretty nicely in just two years.”
With a big National Rifle Association final qualifying event looming, the club has been working long and hard to ensure that they will deliver their best possible performances when the time comes.
“A lot of what we do is mental. We have to visualize ourselves in the situations and see what happens,” Lentine said. “Down the sights we have to see a perfect ten. We visualize ourselves on the line and we put ourselves on the spot so that when we go to the match we’re mentally ready for whatever happens.”
It was also mentioned that practices have been slightly lengthened since the team is only able to come together twice a week. Though practices are typically slated to end no later than 9:30 p.m., there have been instances of shooters staying at the range past midnight to work on their shots.
GVSU has never sent a team to the NRA finals and set a record last year with two individuals qualifying for the event. This year, they expect to send two teams of four as well as eight individual competitors to Georgia where the event will be held—both of which would be triumphant records for the club.
“We’re trying to change the culture here like PJ Fleck did at Western Michigan (in college football),” Zwart said. “We’re going from good enough to being the best, we have a lot of individuals who want to be better than the rest. We always talk about how you’re competing against yourself, to be better than yourself from the day or shot before.
"There’s an intensity and a focus that you need and anything worth doing is worth doing well, and that’s what we’re striving for.”
The Lakers are set to participate in the 2017 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Sectional at Jackson County Sportsman’s Club in Jackson, Mich. Saturday, Feb. 11 beginning at 10:30 a.m.