UMKC Rifle Opens 2007 With Dual Meet Against Nebraska

Jan. 18, 2007

Match #3
UMKC vs. Nebraska
Nebraska Rifle Range - Lincoln Neb.
Sat., Jan. 20, 2007 - 9 a.m.

UMKC's rifle team is back in action this weekend after a bit of a layoff over the holidays, facing off against the University of Nebraska on Saturday at the Nebraska Rifle Range in Lincoln, Neb. The dual meet, the third competition of the season for UMKC, is set for a 9 a.m. start.

Against Nebraska
UMKC has faced off against Nebraska in each of the past three seasons, with the Huskers coming out on top in each of the three meetings. Each time, however, Nebraska has held a slight advantage as the matchup comes later in the season for the Huskers. This year the match marks the third on the schedule for the Kangaroos and the 10th for Nebraska.

Head Coach Tabatha Kirke
UMKC is under new leadership for the first time in the program's history, as Tabatha Kirke replaces Mike Hornbeck, who retired prior to the 2006-07 season. Kirke is no stranger to the program, having served as the assistant coach to Hornbeck for several years.

Kirke brings a wealth of experience to the program, having been a coach since the young age of 15, serving as team leader for the 2000 U.S. Paralympic Rifle team as well as serving as head coach for the 2002 and 2006 U.S. Paralympic Rifle World Championship team.

Experience Plus Youth
The UMKC rifle squad is a mix of experience and youth this season, as senior Evan Williams returns from a redshirt season along with sophomore Lee Wellborn. Williams was part of the 2004-05 squad that took top honors in 2005 NCAA Sectional meet, winning the Western Intercollegiate Rifle Conference title along the way. Wellborn joined UMKC last season, helping UMKC to a second-place finish in the 2006 WIRC meet.

The Kangaroos have added freshmen Deric Thomas and Travis DuBois, both of whom bring impressive resumes. Thomas took top honors in smallbore at the 2005 NRA Junior Sectionals, while DuBois led his Lake Travis 4-H Outdoor Explorers to a first-place finish in the 2005 Texas 4-H Shooting Sports match.

Close, But No Cigar
This is the third meet for the Kangaroos this season, with the team still searching for an overall win. The Kangaroos took top honors in the smallbore discipline at the Boilermaker Invitational to open the season, earning a third-place overall finish. In UMKC's only dual meet action of the season, the Kangaroos averaged better than 90 points in both disciplines, but fell by 33 points overall to UTEP.

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Evan Williams leads the Kangaroos in the first action of 2007.
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