MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A late Mountaineer great was remembered last week with a special tribute, as USA Shooting officially dedicated the David F. Ridenour Finals Range on Wednesday, April 23, at the USA Shooting Complex in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Named in honor of Dave Ridenour, an All-American at WVU from 1981-85, the range was a gift from the Ridenour family to USA Shooting in memory of Dave, who passed away suddenly in 2010 from a brain aneurysm.
“I think this is a really special honor, not just for the WVU rifle program, but also for Dave’s family and USA Shooting,” said Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond. “It was an honor to be present for the dedication and to hear more stories about Dave and his accomplishments. He was an incredible shooter and is a vital part of WVU rifle’s history. It was good to see his legacy recognized at one of this country’s most important venues.”
A sophomore shooter for the 1983 NCAA Championships team, the first of 16 NCAA titles won by the WVU rifle team, Ridenour also helped the Mountaineers finish first in 1984 and second in 1982 and 1985. An eight-time National Rifle Association (NRA) First Team All-American, he was the first collegiate shooter to earn air rifle and smallbore honors four straight seasons. The 1985 team captain, Ridenour’s four-year WVU record stands at 45-2.
A standout for USA Shooting as well, he represented his home country in Germany in 1983 and 1984 and was a two-time National Development Team member.
Following last week’s dedication, which was attended by Ridenour’s wife, Marge, father, Donald, and former Mountaineer teammate Dave Johnson, USA Shooting’s Director of Operations, the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship’s men’s 10m air rifle final was held, the first final conducted in the newly dedicated range. Mountaineer sophomore Garrett Spurgeon
finished second with a total of 1240.7, while redshirt-freshman Jean-Pierre Lucas
placed third with a total of 1235.2.
“It was quite an honor to be one of the first of many competitors to shoot at the newly named finals range,” said Spurgeon. “As a Mountaineer, it was pretty special to shoot for Dave Ridenour, the rest of his family and Mountaineer Nation at a venue named in memory of Dave. It also was a special treat to have Mr. Ridenour present my medal to me after the final. Days like that make me proud to be a part of this worldwide Mountaineer family.”
“There were a lot of special ties that day for WVU rifle,” explained Hammond. “It was great to have Mr. Ridenour present Garrett and JP with their medals. The legacy of the WVU rifle program is strong.”
The new range designates 10 firing points specifically to be used by the finals competitors competing in rifle and pistol air gun events. The area includes special signage and elevates the athlete and spectator experiences and mimics what competitors encounter at some of the world’s top ranges.