Hammond, Zublasing Earn CRCA Honors

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • March 10, 2013 07:50 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following West Virginia University’s nation-best 15th NCAA Championships win, Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond and senior Petra Zublasing earned the College Rifle Coaches Association’s (CRCA) top annual honors at a banquet held in Columbus, Ohio, last night.

Hammond was named the CRCA Coach of the Year, while Zublasing, the 2013 NCAA air rifle and smallbore champion, earned the CRCA Shooter of the Match honor.

Hammond’s award is his second career. The seven-year coach won his first honor after leading the Mountaineers to the 2009 NCAA title. Zublasing, an Appiano, Italy, native, is WVU’s third honoree and first since Marcos Scrivner won the award in 1997.

“I’m really happy Petra was able to finish her Mountaineer career in style,” says Hammond. “It would have been hard for the coaches to award this honor to any other shooter this year. She had a wonderful weekend, a great season and a fantastic career.

“It’s always nice when your peers recognize you, and this award means so much to me because the coaches voted for it. I really think the coach of the year award is a reflection of the team’s hard work all season.”

Zublasing, the 2013 Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Shooter and Senior of the Year, also earned National Rifle Association (NRA) Air Rifle and Smallbore All-America First Team honors last night. She concludes her Mountaineer career with five first-team awards.

In addition to her two national titles over the weekend, Zublasing also won the 2012 NCAA air rifle title and is WVU’s first three-time national champion since Greg Jones (wrestling) won national titles in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

In total, WVU scored 12 NRA All-America honors.

“We were so focused on the championships – to receive 12 All-America honors was a good way to end the weekend,” Hammond says. “So many of our shooters were recognized, even a few that didn’t count for us this weekend, and I think that says a lot about the depth we had on the squad this year.”

Sophomore Taylor Ciotola also was named to the NRA Air Rifle and Smallbore All-America First Teams. The honors are the Pasadena, Md., native’s first career first-team selections. He was named to the smallbore honorable mention team last year.

Sophomore Maren Prediger also was named to the air rifle first team, her first career honor. The Petersaurach, Germany, native finished eighth at yesterday’s NCAA Championships with a 692.1 score.

Sophomore Meelis Kiisk and freshman Garrett Spurgeon join Zublasing and Ciotola on the smallbore first team. Kiisk was named to the air rifle second team last season.

WVU scored four second-team honors. Kiisk and Spurgeon were named to the air rifle second team, while sophomore Thomas Kyanko and junior Daniel Sojka landed on the smallbore second team. The honor is the second career for Kyanko, as he was named to the same squad in 2012, and the first for Sojka. Additionally, freshman Patrick Sunderman was named to the smallbore honorable mention squad.

The Mountaineers (11-1, 5-1 GARC) will meet with WVU fans tomorrow, from 3:30 – 5 p.m., at the Jerry West Lounge, in the WVU Coliseum. Photo opportunities with the team and the NCAA trophy will be available.

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