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Mountaineers Finish in Fourth at NCAA’s

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 13, 2021) –  The fourth-ranked Mountaineer rifle team finished fourth overall at the 2021 NCAA Rifle Championships with a two-day total of 4704, shot at Converse Hall, in Columbus, Ohio.
After a 2332 showing in smallbore on Friday, WVU (7-1, 5-1) shot 2372 in air rifle today, the fourth-best total earned and good enough for fourth place overall. TCU earned the air rifle national title after shooting a winning 2380.

“I am pleased with the effort and determination that the team gave this weekend, and really the whole season,” said coach Jon Hammond. “This was a challenging and difficult year for everyone. We came in ranked fourth and finished fourth in the championship. That may not be where we would have wished to finish, but that’s the nature of sports. The team has worked hard all year and persevered under very strange circumstances. We’ll have to reflect on all the good things that happened.

No. 2 Kentucky won the National Championship with a two-day score of 4731. No. 1 TCU finished second with a 4722 total, and No. 3 Ole Miss placed third with a 4710 mark. 
Fifth-ranked Alaska Fairbanks followed WVU in fifth place with a 4682 score and was followed by No. 6 Nebraska, who finished with a two-day score of 4676. No. 8 Memphis (4661) and No. 7 Air Force (4656) rounded out the field in seventh and eighth place, respectively. 

“We lost to some excellent teams this weekend, said Hammond. “Congratulations to Kentucky on a very impressive performance. They are deserving champions.”
Sophomore Akihito Shimizu represented WVU in the eight-person air rifle final and finished seventh overall with a score 141.5. 

“I’m really pleased with Akihito and making it to the final, Hammond said. “He had a really solid match. All six of our athletes that came to the 2021 NCAA Championships come back next year. So, we’ll take a break and work on how to make next year better.

Kentucky’s Mary Tucker won the air rifle title with a 249.4 score.

Shimizu qualified for the final in a tie for fourth place, shooting a team-best 595 (99-99-100-99-99-99) in the day’s second relay. 

Sophomore Calista Smoyer also shot in the second relay and finished in a tie for fifth with a 591 (100-99-99-99-98-99) total.

Freshman Molly McGhin (98-98-99-98-100-99) shot 592 in the day’s second relay to tie for sixth place. Freshman Tal Engler (96-100-99-98-99-99) and junior Jared Eddy (96-100-98-99-99-98) also shot in the second relay, and both finished in ties for seventh (591) and eighth 590), respectively. 

The 11-time reigning Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) champions, WVU finished the 2020-21 season with a 7-1 overall record and a 5-1 conference mark.
National Rifle Association (NRA) and College Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) All-America honors will be awarded later this weekend.

Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications

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