Tech hosts James Newkirk Invitational this weekend

Tech hosts James Newkirk Invitational this weekend

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech rifle team will host a pair of important meets in the next few weeks at the TTU Rifle Range in Tucker Stadium as the spring portion of the 2008-09 schedule gets underway.

This weekend, the Golden Eagles host the James Newkirk Invitational, and on Feb. 7-8 will serve as host of the Ohio Valley Conference Championships.

"The James Newkirk Invitational holds special meaning for our program, because of what coach Newkirk meant to building this program," said head coach Steve Law. "It's our first meet back after the break, and it will be a really good chance for our kids to get back into competition."

Joining Tech at the Newkirk event will be Jacksonville State and Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference, plus the University of Memphis. The meet will also include 10 of the top Junior shooters from across the state.

Shooting begins Saturday at 8 a.m. with two relays, running until around 6 p.m. The schedule Sunday also begins at 8 a.m., and features one relay, ending around 1 p.m.

Two weeks later, Tech will host the OVC Championships. In between, Tech will shoot at the Murray State Invitational.

In smallbore competition during the fall, junior Patrick Stidham produced the team's top score with a 568 at the Jacksonville State Invitational. Junior Curtis Gagne had the second-best smallbore score with a 567 at the Murray State Invitational.

Stidham also posted the team's top score of the fall schedule in the air rifle discipline, shooting a 583 at the Akron Invitational. Sophomore Austin Litherland had the next highest air rifle effort with a 577 at the JSU event.

Tech's top aggregate score came in the JSU meet when Stidham shot a combined 1,147.