National Champs Score All-America Awards

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • March 16, 2014 12:24 PM
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Garrett Spurgeon
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – On the heels of its second straight NCAA Championships victory, the West Virginia University rifle team collected 14 All-America honors at the NCAA Postseason Banquet, held March 15, in Murray, Ky.
Seven Mountaineers earned a combined 10 National Rifle Association All-America awards, while four Mountaineers were named to the College Rifle Coaches’ Association (CRCA) All-America Teams sponsored by Lapua.
“It’s great to see so many of the student-athletes earn individual awards and recognition for all their hard work throughout a successful season,” says Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond. “I’m especially happy to see the shooters that weren’t able to compete with us this weekend earn awards.”
Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon led the way for the Mountaineers, as he was named to the NRA Air Rifle and Smallbore First Teams, as well as the CRCA All-America First Team. He now owns five career All-America honors, including four first-team awards.
Juniors Ziva Dvorsak and Maren Prediger join Spurgeon on the NRA Air Rifle First Team, the second straight first-team award for Prediger and the first career honor for Dvorsak. Prediger also was named to the CRCA All-America Second Team.
Four Mountaineers landed on the NRA Smallbore Second Team: senior Daniel Sojka, juniors Meelis Kiisk and Thomas Kyanko, and sophomore Patrick Sunderman. Kiisk also was named to the NRA Air Rifle Second Team, while Sunderman scored a spot on the honorable mention team. The duo also was named to the CRCA All-America Third Team and Honorable Mention Team, respectively.
Sojka concludes his Mountaineer career with two career second-team honors.
“It’s really good for Daniel to end his career on such a high note with another All-America award,” says Hammond. “Also, despite not shooting with us this weekend, Patrick earned three awards, and I think that says a lot about the improvement he’s made over the past year.”
WVU shot a championships-record 4705 and won its second straight NCAA title yesterday at Murray State’s CFSB Center, in Murray, Ky., bringing its program title mark to a nation-best 16. The win was the team’s third in eight years under coach Jon Hammond; the squad also won in 2009. The Mountaineers swept the team discipline titles, winning air rifle (2367) and smallbore (2338).
The Mountaineers (10-0, 7-0 GARC), the five-time reigning Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) champions, will meet with fans tomorrow, March 17, from 5:30 – 7 p.m., inside the Jerry West Lounge in the WVU Coliseum. Photo opportunities with the team and the NCAA trophies will be available.