MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team earned a bid to the 2017 NCAA National Championships, as announced tonight by the NCAA Rifle Committee.
The Ohio State University plays host to the championships March 10-11, at French Field House.
Today’s qualification is the 10th straight for the four-time defending National Champion Mountaineers (12-0, 8-0 GARC). With a nation-best 18 NCAA titles to its name, the team will shoot for its fifth under 11-year coach Jon Hammond. Sophomore Ginny Thrasher
is the defending NCAA smallbore and air rifle champion.
“Qualifying for the NCAA Championships is a yearly goal for this team, and now it’s checked off the list,” Hammond said. “We’ve had a solid season with a consistent average. Included in this was a great team performance at the NCAA Qualifier on Saturday. Now, we’re looking forward to our two remaining matches and shooting at the GARC and NCAA Championships.”
The Mountaineers qualified as the field’s top team, having shot a nation-best qualifying score of 4724 on Feb. 18.
Joining the Mountaineers at the championships are: Alaska-Fairbanks, Air Force, Kentucky, Murray State, Ohio State, Nebraska and TCU.
The teams earned championship bids based on the average of their three highest regular-season aggregate scores, with each score recorded at a different range. The average of the three scores was then added to the aggregate total from the team’s designated qualifier to determine the final field.
A total of 48 competitors will compete at the championships, with eight selected as individual qualifiers. An NCAA rule established three years ago stipulates that a school that qualifies as a team is disqualified from sending individual qualifiers.
The Mountaineers shoot for their eighth straight Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships this weekend on Feb. 24-25, at Stile Athletics Field House, in Akron, Ohio.