MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – The No. 1- ranked West Virginia University rifle team shot a 2337 smallbore score and sits in first place after the first day of the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships, today, at Mississippi’s Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center, in Oxford, Miss.
All nine conference teams shot today, and the Mountaineers (10-0, 7-0 GARC) represented five of the eight shooters in the individual smallbore final.
“It was a really good performance today,” coach Jon Hammond says. “Our core team shooters all shot above 580 and made the individual final. It was a strong team effort and one of our strongest smallbore competitions this season.”
Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon
shot a 587 smallbore score (194 kneeling, 198 prone, 195 standing), leading the Mountaineers in the open relay and placing fifth overall with a 419.8 score in the final. He paced the Mountaineers for the ninth time this season with the relay score, and tied his season high.
Redshirt-freshman Jean-Pierre Lucas
entered the final tied in first place with Spurgeon, shooting a 587 open relay score, and finished third overall with a 441.0 final score.
“Coming off of his score last weekend, J.P. did really well today,” Hammond explains. “He shot one of the best scores in the whole country last weekend, and did it again today. To get that here at his first GARC Championships is a great result, and I’m really impressed with his hard work.”
Also representing WVU in the 45-shot three position final, junior Thomas Kyanko
shot a 586 (195 kneeling, 200 prone, 191 standing) score, and his 200 prone score tied a school record. The shot is one short of his season high. He finished fourth in the final with a 431.0 score. Classmates Meelis Kiisk
and Ziva Dvorsak
shot 582 in the open relay and 406.3 and 397.2 in the final for sixth and seventh place overall, respectively.
The WVU counting squad consisted of Spurgeon, Kyanko, Dvorsak, Kiisk, and Prediger.
Sophomore Patrick Sunderman
shot in the smallbore individual relay today as a non-counter, scoring 574.
The Mountaineers own a 23-shot lead over No. 4 Nebraska (2314), who sits in second. No. 3 Kentucky is in third (2308), while No. 7 Army (2299) is in fourth. No. 6 Memphis (2297) sits at fifth, No. 13 Navy (2291) at sixth, and No. 15 NC State and No. 16 Akron are tied for seventh (2285). Ole Miss is in ninth (2275) after the smallbore competition.
The remaining shooters in the final were Nebraska’s Lauren Phillips, who came in first place overall (458.3), Rachel Martin in second (455.8) and Denise Martin in eighth (394.2).
Of note, Lucas and Sunderman shot as non-counters in air rifle today, shooting 586 and 584, respectively.
The Mountaineers will continue competition at the GARC Championships tomorrow and will shoot for a fifth straight title. The air rifle relay starts at 9 a.m. ET, and individual finals will follow.
A link for live scores will be available at WVUsports.com.
For more information on the Mountaineers, follow @WVURifle on Twitter.