MORGANTOWN, W.Va.- Five members of the No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team will be competing at the USA Winter Airgun Championships, this weekend, Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Co.
Senior Petra Zublasing
, junior Daniel Sojka
, sophomores Meelis Kiisk
and Thomas Kyanko
and freshman Garrett Spurgeon
will be representing the Mountaineers.
The three-day event sponsored by USA Shooting is a qualifying match for several national teams, such as the 2013 ISSF World Cups, and hosts competitors with Olympic experience.
“I think for the shooters that are going it will help get them back into that larger-match feel and environment,” says coach Jon Hammond. “Shooting the final at Alaska will have really helped any of them that qualify for finals this weekend.”
Zublasing, the 2012 NCAA air rifle champion, returns to the international stage after competing in the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Kyanko was named the Greater American Rifle Conference (GARC) rookie of the year and shot at the NCAA Championships during the 2011-2012 season.
Kiisk, a Paide, Estonia, native, won the men’s visitor 10m air rifle competition at the USA Shooting Olympic Team Air Rifle Trials in 2011.
Sojka is coming off two non-competitive seasons at WVU, but has contributed to the team’s scores in all but one match in the Mountaineers, 9-0 run this season.
This will be the first time Spurgeon sees competition at the international level as a Mountaineer, but has Junior Olympics experience and is a two-time Missouri air rifle state champion.
“Petra is obviously going to be very competitive on the women side of things,” says Hammond. “I think all the other shooters are capable of competing well when they go out there, too. Meelis has probably had the most consistent air rifle out of the remaining four, but Garrett could also have an impact.”
Air rifle and air pistol competitions will take place each day followed by a finals match that will conclude each day of the championship. A recap and full results will be available at WVUsports.com on Monday.