MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia University rifle student-athlete Garrett Spurgeon
finished fifth in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions yesterday on the first day of action at the 2013 USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol, at the Shooting Range of the United States Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Ga.
Spurgeon, a rising sophomore, shot 420.8 in the eight-man final. The Canton, Mo., native qualified on the strength of his seventh-place finish in the qualification relay, as he shot a 1161 score (388 kneeling, 391 prone, 382 standing).
Yesterday’s finish puts Spurgeon in a good position to win a national title. USA Shooting is utilizing new National Championship and U.S. Team selection procedures for the championships, and finals were held for the Olympic events: women’s air rifle and men’s 3 positions. New relays will be held today, as well as a separate final, and the national champion will be crowned on the basis of an aggregate of these scores plus additional points for placing in each day’s final (eight points for first, seven points for second, six points for third and so on for all final positions).
Rising junior Thomas Kyanko
placed 14th in yesterday’s qualification relay with a 1152 score (385 kneeling, 391 prone, 376 standing). Rising seniors Chance Cover
and Daniel Sojka
finished 25th (1141) and 28th (1138), respectively.
Of note, Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond tied Spurgeon’s mark of 1161 (391 kneeling, 396 prone, 374 standing) in the qualification relay, but he finished one spot higher with a 57-44 center-shot advantage. Coach Hammond did not advance to the final as he shot as a visitor.
Additionally, Bryant Wallizer, a 2010 WVU graduate, finished 10th with a 1158 score (386 kneeling, 392 prone, 380 standing).
Competition continues today, and the men’s 3 positions champion will be crowned.