MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team overcame a three-shot smallbore deficit to defeat No. 3 Alaska-Fairbanks, 4709-4680, today, at the WVU Rifle Range.
The Mountaineers’ (9-0, 6-0 GARC) combined total is one-shot short of its NCAA season-best score of 4710, shot Jan. 24 at the Withrow Invitational.
Today’s loss is the first of the season for UAF.
WVU dominated the Nanooks (9-1) in air rifle, 2380-2348. The squad’s score, a season high, is one-shot short of matching its program-best mark of 2381. UAF opened the match defeating WVU in smallbore, 2332-2329.
Four of the five Mountaineer counters finished in the top four air rifle spots. Junior Maren Prediger
finished first with a 597 (99-100-99-99-100-100) score, while classmate Ziva Dvorsak
matched her season-high showing of 596 and placed second. Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon
finished third and matched his career high with a 594 score, and junior Thomas Kyanko
shot a season-high 593 for a fourth-place finish; the score is one-shot short of the Wellsburg, W.Va., native’s career high.
Several non-counting Mountaineer shooters also had strong air rifle showings today. Sophomore Patrick Sunderman
matched his career-best score of 591 and finished in a fifth-place tie with UAF’s Tim Sherry. Additionally, junior Taylor Ciotola
and redshirt-freshman Jean-Pierre Lucas
each shot a season-high 590 and tied for seventh place.
The Nanooks’ Lorelie Stanfield shot 587 smallbore for the discipline win. Kyanko finished just behind with a season-best 586 score (197 kneeling, 200 prone, 189 standing). Dvorsak placed third with a 584, while Spurgeon tied for fourth with a 583 mark. Senior Daniel Sojka
tied for sixth place with a 582 total.
Of note, Kyanko and Ciotola each shot a school-record 200 prone today.
Dvorsak shot a match-best 1180 aggregate total. Kyanko finished second with a season-best 1179 score, and Spurgeon’s 1177 was good enough for third.
With the win, the Mountaineers improve to 9-6 all-time against UAF.
WVU shoots for the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) regular-season title against No. 2 Kentucky, the defending champions, Saturday, Feb. 8, at the WVU Rifle Range. The match begins at 8 a.m., and fans are invited to sit inside the range for the air rifle relays.