Coast Guard Bears Win Four Pistol National Championships

Bears Win Four National Championships on Final Day of NRA Intercollegiate Championships

FT BENNING, Ga. –  Coast Guard won the open aggregate national championship for the first time in school history on the final day of the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships.

Senior Helen Oh won the women's Air Pistol national championship for the fourth straight year and the open all-around national championship for the second straight season. She is the only shooter to ever win the women's and open national championship in the same season and accomplishes the feat for the second straight time.

This is the third time in as many years that a Coast Guard shooter has won the open all-around Collegiate Individual championship, with Oh winning it last year and Brian Kim winning the Championship in 2017.

Freshman Ben Waalkes took home the open air pistol national championship for the Bears.

The Open Air Pistol match was the only match of the day. The Bears were looking to make it a clean sweep by winning all open matches.

The Bears finished behind Ohio State, 2230 to 2213 in the event, but ahead of West Point's 2186. Freshman Ben Waalkes led the team with a 564, one point out of the lead. Senior Helen Oh finished up behind Waalkes with a 560, and senior Brian Kim with a 558.

All three would go onto the finals where the top eight shooters fire an additional 10 shots to determine the overall winner. In the end, the victory went to Waalkes who came back from a 0.9 deficit after the ninth shot by firing a 10.6 to the leaders 9.0, and winning the National Championship by 0.7 of a point. Oh and Kim finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Also on the scoring team was sophomore Esther Choe, firing a 531.

The deficit in Air Pistol was not enough to allow Ohio State to pass the Bears for the Aggregate Collegiate National Championship. The Bears ended up defeating Ohio State 6443 to 6358, and defeating the third place team, Army-West Point by 205 points.

Although Oh finished fifth in the Open Air Pistol competition, she was able to win the Women's Air Pistol National Championship with a 654.9, ahead of Dominque Adams of Navy.

This victory makes four consecutive Women's Air Pistol Individual Championships for Oh. The Women's Air Pistol team tied Navy for the top score with both teams firing a 1619. After using the tie-breaking procedure the Bears were relegated to second place and were unable to win the Women's Air Pistol Championship for the third consecutive year.

With her 560 Air Pistol score and her 551 Sport Pistol score, her total of 1,111 was enough to win the All-Around Women's National Championship for the second consecutive year. 

In the combined three event individual aggregate, Free Pistol, Standard Pistol, and Air Pistol, Oh won the All-Around National Pistol Championship, firing a 1637, Kim finished second with a 1633, and Waalkes finished third with a 1618.

Five cadets earned a total of 13 All America honors over the weekend and were honored at the banquet on Tuesday night.

Free Pistol:

Helen Oh 1st team, Brian Kim 2nd team, and Ben Waalkes 2nd team

Standard Pistol:

Helen Oh 1st team, Brian Kim 1st team, Kevin Bennett 1st team, and Ben Waalkes 2nd team

Air Pistol:

Helen Oh 1st team, Ben Waalkes 1st team, Brian Kim 2nd team, Kevin Bennett 2nd team, and Esther ChoeHonorable Mention

Sport Pistol:

Helen Oh 1st team

Helen Oh also won the "Spirit of the Sport Award' given annually to the top individual in the Collegiate shooting sports that epitomizes sportsmanship and passion. This is the first time a Coast Guard coach or athlete has earned this prestigious award.

They also honored individuals who have earned All American honors an event in each of their four years in college in the history of collegiate shooting. Earning this distinction were:

Free Pistol (only five previous winners):

Helen Oh and Brian Kim

Standard Pistol (only eight previous winners):

Helen Oh and Brian Kim

Air Pistol (only nine previous winners)

Helen Oh

Women's Sport Pistol (only six previous winners earning 1st team honors)

Helen Oh

Helen Oh earned more total All American honors than any previous collegiate pistol shooter by earning 16 All American honors. Earning fourteen 1st team, one 2nd team, and one honorable mention. 

Brian Kim earned eleven All American honors, two 1st team, seven 2nd team, and two honorable mention.

Team and Individual awards were eight gold, six silver, and three bronze.

Team Awards:


Open Aggregate

Open Free Pistol

Open Standard Pistol


Open Air Pistol

Women's Aggregate

Women's Sport Pistol

Women's Air Pistol


Individual Awards:


Open Aggregate – Helen Oh

Open Standard Pistol – Helen Oh

Open Air Pistol – Benjamin Waalkes

Women's Aggregate – Helen Oh

Women's Air Pistol – Helen Oh


Open Aggregate – Brian Kim

Open Free – Brian Kim


Open Aggregate – Benjamin Waalkes

Open Free – Helen Oh

Open Standard Pistol – Benjamin Waalkes