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Rifle: Seven Earn NRA All-America Honors

by Shannon McNamara for
March 16, 2010

  Nicco Campriani

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Seven West Virginia University rifle student-athletes have earned 12 National Rifle Association (NRA) 2010 All-America honors.

The seven honorees matches a decade-high mark first achieved last season. Ten Mountaineers earned All-America honors in 1987, a program-best mark.

Five Mountaineers garnered air rifle honors, including four selections to the first team, while seven were named smallbore honorees.

“These are great individual honors that cap off an excellent season,” says Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Coach of the Year Jon Hammond. “Seven honorees alone is great, but for all seven to earn smallbore awards is amazing and shows the depth we possessed this season. Also, the four first team air rifle selections demonstrate the talent we had at the top of our lineup.

“Though the NCAA Championships results were are a bit of a disappointment, these honors are a great way to end the year.”

Junior transfer Nicco Campriani concluded an abbreviated first year at WVU with first-team air rifle and smallbore honors. The Florence, Italy, native is the only Mountaineer selected to both first teams.

Campriani, the GARC smallbore, air gun and combined score champion, first shot with the Mountaineers on Jan. 17 and quickly rewrote the WVU record books. He shot a school-record 593 smallbore and 1189 combined score on Jan. 31, and a school-best 598 air rifle on Feb. 13. He concluded the season with a team-best 1185.83 combined score average, 596 air gun average and 589.83 smallbore average.

Senior Bryant Wallizer, junior Andy Lamson and sophomore Michael Kulbacki join Campriani on the air rifle first team. The honor is the second-straight for Wallizer and Lamson and the first for Kulbacki.

Junior Brandi Eskew is the fifth WVU first team All-American, as the Petersburg, W.Va., native earned her third-straight smallbore honor.

Junior Tommy Santelli, Wallizer and Lamson were named to the smallbore second team, while Kulbacki and sophomore Justin Pentz earned honorable-mention smallbore honors. Additionally, Santelli was named to the air gun honorable-mention team.

TCU, the 2010 national champions, and Alaska-Fairbanks each earned eight NRA All-America honors.

The Mountaineers concluded their 2010 campaign with a third-place finish at the NCAA Championships on March 13. WVU (11-0, 7-0 GARC) also earned the GARC regular-season and championship titles.

All but Wallizer return to WVU next season.

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