Hicks ’24 Receives Rifle All-Conference Honors

From the women’s team achieving its highest aggregate score to high-scoring individual performances, VMI rifle concluded a strong 2022–23 season at the Southern Conference Championship in Charleston, South Carolina.—Photo courtesy VMI Keydets.

The VMI rifle program had a strong 2022–23 campaign, ending the season with high notes that included the women’s team shooting its highest aggregate score of 4484 at the Southern Conference Championship in Charleston, South Carolina, March 5, 2023.

Additionally, Christopher Hicks ’24 garnered All-SoCon Second Team honors for his championship performance, shooting a 567 in the smallbore competition to earn the award.

Hicks was as steady as they come all season as he led the team in smallbore and aggregate averages and ranked in the top 10 for both categories in the Southern Conference.

At the SoCon Championships, Hicks achieved the highest aggregate score, including a 575 in the air rifle, to finish with an aggregate of 1142. His 567 on the first day earned him Second Team All-SoCon honors. Michael Annesi ’25 capped off the season on a strong note, shooting a personal-best 581 in the air rifle.

The season opened with stiff competition back in September 2022, as VMI’s first four outings came against teams ranked in the top 20 nationally.
Toward the end of the fall semester, however, the Keydets showed their strength by picking up two conference wins over Wofford College and a victory over John Jay College before facing top-20 squads at Morehead State University. VMI also had a good showing against rival The Citadel, defeating the women’s squad Jan. 28, 2023.

In a competition against West Virginia University, which is routinely in the mix for national championships, VMI set a new program record with an aggregate score of 4564 Feb. 18, 2023.

The Keydets shot 2242 in smallbore and 2322 in air rifle to earn the new program mark.

The West Virginia competition was notable for two other reasons as well, with Ryan Harlow ’25 (584) and Laini Morgan ’25 (582) each shooting personal bests of 584 and 582, respectively, in air rifle, which qualified them for the Junior Olympic National Championship in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in April.