No. 1 Rifle Wins GARC Title


By Shannon McNamara for WVUsports.com
February 24, 2013 07:22 PM
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team shot a two-day total of 4705 and won its fourth straight Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships, today, at Mississippi’s Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center, in Oxford, Miss.

The Mountaineers (11-1, 5-1 GARC) used a first place, 2370 showing in air rifle to solidify their victory. WVU shot a winning 2335 smallbore yesterday.

WVU is the first team to ever win four straight GARC titles; the squad previously won three consecutive championships twice. The Mountaineers now own seven GARC titles.

“We got the job done today, and that’s the result we wanted, so I’m very happy for the team,” says seventh-year coach Jon Hammond. “Again, we left the range today knowing there are things we can still improve on, but overall this was a steady team performance.

“It’s nice for us to win four straight GARC titles, but right now, we’re focused on finishing the season strong. We’ll look back on the magnitude of this later, but really this weekend was just about completing a job. We’ll go back to the WVU Rifle Range tomorrow and continue to train for the 2013 NCAA Championships. There’s still one big job for us to finish.”

No. 2-ranked Kentucky finished second with a 4690 score, while No. 7 Nebraska placed third with a 4647 two-day total. No. 6 Army finished fourth (4645), and host Ole Miss placed fifth (4634).

Senior Petra Zublasing and sophomore Maren Prediger finished second and third, respectively in air rifle with final scores of 700.5 and 699.7. The duo each shot a championship-best 597 in the open relay. Zublasing, the GARC Shooter and Senior of the Year, as well as the conference’s smallbore champion, tallied 103.5 in the final, while Prediger earned 102.7.

“The girls are both incredibly good air rifle shooters, and they both had solid matches today,” says Hammond. “They had their own struggles at certain points, but both are experienced and calm, and they dealt with their difficulties accordingly and produced excellent scores.”

Additionally, Mountaineer sophomore Meelis Kiisk also shot in today’s final and finished sixth overall with a 691.0 mark. Kiisk tallied 590 in the open relay and 101.0 in the final.

Kentucky’s Connor Davis finished first with a final score of 701.0; he shot 596 in the open relay and 105.0 in the final.

Zublasing finished first overall with a two-day total of 1192. UK’s Henri Junghanel placed second (1179), and Memphis’ Daniel Hermsmeier finished third (1173).

Five Mountaineers shot toward the team’s score today – Zublasing, Prediger, Kiisk, sophomore Taylor Ciotola and freshman Garrett Spurgeon. Spurgeon tallied 586, while Ciotola shot 584.

Additionally, sophomore Thomas Kyanko shot 585 today, while freshman Patrick Sunderman scored 571.

The Mountaineers will now train for the 2013 NCAA Championships, hosted by Ohio State on March 8-9, at Converse Hall and French Field House, in Columbus, Ohio.




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