The NDSU Marksmanship Club’s rifle and pistol shooters earned several medals at the National Rifle Association National Collegiate Pistol Championships and the National Collegiate Club Rifle Championships in March at Fort Benning, Georgia. 

Alana Townsend, a senior from Kalispell, Montana, majoring in agricultural economics, won the national championship gold medal in free pistol and open air pistol. Townsend is the first woman to win the free pistol championship since the matches were established in 1981. She also won the silver medal in women’s air pistol and second place in the overall aggregate score for the matches.

The women’s air pistol team of Townsend, Caitlyn Fleahman, a junior majoring in pre-pharmacy from Bemidji, Minnesota, and Macy Nelson, a senior majoring in emergency management form Arthur, North Dakota, took the silver medal. Fleahman took fifth in women’s air pistol. The free pistol team of Townsend, Fleahman, Grant Johnson, a senior in business management from Bemidji, Minnesota, and Pryce Pinney, a sophomore in agricultural systems management from Johnstown, Nebraska, took the bronze medal. The third-place women’s aggregate was awarded to Townsend, Fleahman and Nelson.

The team of Townsend, Fleahman and Nelson earned fourth place in women’s sport pistol. The team of Townsend, Fleahman, Johnson and Pinney earned fourth place in open air pistol. The team of Townsend, Johnson, Pinney and Katie Martinez placed ninth in standard pistol. Martinez is a senior criminal justice major from Custer, South Dakota. 

Townsend earned first team All-American honors in free pistol, air pistol and sport pistol. Pinney was named to the second team in free pistol and Johnson was an honorable mention selection in free pistol. All-American honors are based on the number of qualifying matches, scores in NRA sectional and national championship matches, and academic record.

NDSU pistol coach Eric Pueppke was named this season’s outstanding college coach. The pistol teams also are coached by James Ladwig. 

The NDSU Marksmanship Club air rifle and small bore rifle teams also competed at nationals. The team was comprised of Townsend, Fleahman, Walker Brandt, a junior computer science major from Steele, North Dakota and Bryce Lynne, a junior agricultural education major from Plaza, North Dakota. The teams finished in air rifle competition and eighth in small bore rifle competition. Mitchell Godbout is the coach of the rifle teams.