West Point, NY - With an aggregate of 6026 points, the United States Merchant Marine Academy pistol team placed second over the weekend at Sectionals hosted by Army. The Mariners placed second and defeated rival U.S. Coast Guard Academy in the process by 24 points.
Kings Point, which has improved in each match this season, got off to a superb start with a first place finish in the Air event. The Mariners defeated Army by a mere point, 2189-2188, while the Bears of Coast Guard notched 2,132 points in the event.
Sophomore Joshua Cox scored a team-best 557 points to pace the Blue & Gray in the win. Senior Jason Berger was right behind Cox with 554 points. Freshman Michael Budesa and junior Bert Toone tallied a score of 544 and 534 points, respectively.
The Mariners fell off their pedestal in the final two events, finishing third in both the standard and free events. USMMA combined for 1,975 points in the Standard and 1,862 points in the Free. Cox was the lone Mariner to eclipse 500 points in both events, totaling 1,041 points.
Army placed first in the final two efforts with a score of 2079 in the Standard and 2054 in the Free. Meanwhile, Coast Guard tallied a 1985 in the Standard and 1885 in the Free.
The Mariners will take a couple weeks off before returning to action at Nationals in Fort Benning, Georgia on Mar. 14-19.