After leading his coed rifle team to a third-place finish at this weekend’s SoCon tournament and 5-2 conference record during the season, Lt. Col. Bill Bither, VMI rifle head coach, was named the league’s co-Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the 2020 SoCon Rifle Championship March 8 in Statesboro, Georgia.
After the smallbore was competed March 7, the second day’s competition included the air rifle discipline. Keydets Hunter Jacob ’20 and Kelia Aardema ’20 were named to the All SoCon Second Team for their finishes in the event. Jacob finished seventh overall with a 575 in the air rifle while Aardema finished in ninth with a 572. Bither was named the co-Coach of the Year alongside Georgia Southern’s Sandra Worman, who led the Eagles to a 3-4 league record for the year. The University of Alabama at Birmingham secured the team title for a second consecutive year with an aggregate score of 4539 points, just four points higher than second-place North Georgia. The VMI coed team finished third with 4490 points to edge out The Citadel coed team, which finished with 4478 points.
Jacob and Aardema led the VMI coed team with their respective air rifle scores of 575 and 572, which were slightly higher than freshman James Doucett ’23. Doucett logged a 569 for the category. Alexander Allison ’23 (561) and senior Nick Reynolds ’20 (559) also competed for the Keydets in the air rifle.
The VMI women were led by a 568 air rifle score from Jessica Hankin ’22, ahead of 562 from Savannah Diamond ’22. Samantha Reid ’22 logged a 561 for third on the squad while Lauren Dost ’20 (560) and Claire Lee ’22 (542) also represented the team.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on vmikeydets.com.