NIU ROTC sent 10 Cadets from the Rifle Team to compete in the 7th Annual Gateway Battalion Air Rifle Competition at Washington University in St. Louis. The competition took place on 3-4 February and consisted of 26 four-person teams from 8 different schools across the midwest. NIU submitted 2 four-man teams and 2 individual firers, led by team captain, Cadet Michael Solimine. NIU's top team finished 5th out of 26 teams in a very competitive field which saw both team and individual records fall this year. Cadet Solimine finished as the third highest overall individual firer and first in the kneeling position. In the prone position, Cadet Solimine tied for first while NIU marksmen Joseph Lewis and Alex Alvey finished in 4th and 5th place, respectively.
Marksmen from the University of North Dakota set the competition's team record with a score of 856 and also had the individual record holder as well. All 10 NIU competitors will earn the "Rifle Team" tab to wear on their uniform and are looking forward to next year with much optimism. The team spent many evenings practicing at the Sycamore Sportsman's Club in nearby Sycamore, IL under the tutelage of expert marskmen at the club. The ROTC program is in their debt for the hours of volunteering they dedicated to getting our team ready for the competition.