CLEMSON — The Clemson University air rifle club team won its second straight national championship at the National Rifle Association’s 2011 Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship, which the team hosted on the campus of The Citadel April 7-10.

The team won first place in the air rifle competition, and team member Dylan Smith of Charlotte, N.C., placed second in the individual competition. Smith was named second-team All-American at the event.

Other team members shooting in the competition were Eugene Diefenbach of Fairfax Station, Va.; Erin Gotterbram of Cayce; Basil “Trey” Jordan of Darlington; and Kevin Tuten of Liberty.

The team also placed seventh in the smallbore rifle competition.

Teams from 12 colleges and 30 individual shooters competed in the invitational tournament.

“Being the champions is a great feeling and definitely a great exclamation mark to a season filled with hard work and hard practice from the team,” said team captain Diefenbach. “Success would have been impossible without John (Cummings), our coach. Yes, I was the one on the firing line, but it was his tremendous coaching ability and guidance over the past years that ensured our success.”

Clemson was the host team for the competition, but the event was held at The Citadel Marksmanship Center because Clemson does not have a facility on campus suitable for a national-level competition.

“It was great to partner with The Citadel to host this event, and we thank them for providing us with access to their world-class shooting range,” said Cummings. “We were honored to be selected by the NRA as the host team and very proud to bring home another national championship for Clemson.”


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