August 12, 2008

Szarenski to compete in Beijing Olympics for the United States

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Not only is Tennessee Tech an annual contender for the NCAA Rifle Championship, but former Tech rifle team members have been in contention for Olympic medals as well.

In 1984, Tech Hall of Fame shooter Ed Etzel won a gold medal in Los Angeles.

This year, Golden Eagle shooter Daryl Szarenski looks to add another medal to Tech's tradition. Szarenski was a member of the rifle team at Tech from 1987 to 1991, and is currently representing the United States at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Competing in the 50m Pistol event, Szarenski was a seven-time All-American while at Tech in smallbore and air rifle.

Since his time at Tennessee Tech, he has won several awards for his abilities on the range. In 1993, he was the silver medalist in the air pistol at the National Championships while taking home gold in the air pistol and silver in the free pistol at the U.S. Olympic Festival. Szarenski went on to win several other medals in key Olympic preparation competitions and world championships, but it was in 2000 that he made his Olympic debut.

He finished 25th in the 50m Free Pistol and spent the next four years training to improve and make a stronger run in Athens. While in Greece, he improved and was a member of the men's air pistol and free pistol teams, taking home 13th and 15th place, respectively.

This year he finished second while at the Olympic trials in the free pistol to claim his current spot and trip to Beijing.

Before his Olympics success, Szarenski honed his skills along with teammates such as Tanya Brown, Frank Foss and Angela St. Onge on the Golden Eagle squad. Manny Goodman, another teammate of Szarenski for his first three years, returned as the Tech coach for Szarenski's final season.

Tech's 2008 rifle team begins the season Oct. 4 when it travels to Jacksonville State for a shoulder-to-shoulder meet beginning at 8 a.m.