by Shannon McNamara for MSNsportsNET.com
December 3, 2009
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Five members of the No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team will compete at the 2009 USA Shooting Winter Airgun Championship, Dec. 4-6, at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Representing the Mountaineers are senior Bryant Wallizer, juniors Nicco Campriani, Andy Lamson and Tommy Santelli and sophomore Michael Kulbacki.
The three-day event, which serves as a qualifier for several national teams, including the 2010 ISSF World Cups, features shooters with Olympic experience and aspirations.
“This is one of the biggest air rifle matches of the year and will provide great exposure for all of those shooting,” says coach Jon Hammond. “There is high-quality competition here and everyone will be shooting with high standards. Ultimately, this is a good test for our five shooters and will help them as they progress throughout the rest of this season.”
Wallizer returns to the national stage after winning the air rifle title at the 2009 USA Shooting National Championships this past June. His winning score of 1228.4 automatically qualified him for the US National Development Team.
Wallizer, Lamson, Santelli and Kulbacki combined for the winning air rifle score of 2353 at the 2009 NCAA Championship; the mark helped the Mountaineers overcome a sixth-place smallbore finish on their way to their nation-best 14th national title.
Campriani, eligible to compete with the Mountaineers next month, finished 12th in air rifle the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Florence, Italy, native shot 594.
Identical competitions will take place each day in rifle and pistol; a finals match will conclude each day of the championship