MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 26, 2021) – Nine shooters from the West Virginia University rifle team earned a combined 21 All-GARC honors. The awards are presented at the GARC Championships banquet but due to COVID-19, the banquet was canceled.
“It’s great to see the athletes get recognized for all their work this year,” coach Jon Hammond said. “Even though we were not able to have NCAA matches in the fall, we managed to keep the integrity of the conference standings and awards with some virtual matches.”
Of the 15 All-GARC Smallbore, Air Rifle and Combined First Team honors, five were claimed by Mountaineers.
Five Mountaineers were named to the All-GARC Smallbore, Air Rifle and Combined Score First Teams.
Junior Jared Eddy was the lone Mountaineer named to the smallbore first team, and sophomores Akihito Shimizu and Calista Smoyer were named to the air rifle first team. Shimizu and Eddy were also named to the All-GARC Combined first team.
Shimizu was named to the All-GARC Smallbore Second Team, while freshman Molly McGhin and junior Verena Zaisberger garnered All-GARC Smallbore, Air Rifle and Combined Second Team accolades.
Additionally, senior Sarah Osborn was named to the All-GARC Air Rifle Second team and freshman Matt Sanchez was named to the All-GARC Air Rifle and Combined Second teams.
Freshman Tal Engler and classmate Sanchez claimed All-GARC Smallbore Honorable Mention honors, while sophomore Becca Lamb, Smoyer and Osborn were named to the All-GARC Combined Honorable Mention team.
Zaisberger was named the Mountaineers’ GARC Scholar Athlete. The honor is the first career award for the music major.
“Nine of our 10 team members received an All-Conference award, with Akihito, Molly and Verena receiving an All-Conference award in all three disciplines,” Hammond said. “I think the awards really show the depth we have had this year. Even more than in past years. I’m proud of how all the team members have worked and supported each other throughout the season”
Kentucky’s Mary Tucker was named the GARC Shooter of the Year for the second consecutive year. Lea Horvath of Ole Miss was named Rookie of the Year, while Nebraska’s Emily Cheramine was named senior of the year.
Marsha Beasley of Ole Miss was named GARC Coach of the Year, along with JP Lucas being named Assistant Coach of the Year for Ole Miss. The team also received the Sportsmanships Award.
The Mountaineers compete in the 2021 Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships, Feb. 27-28, in a virtual match, in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Press Release: WVU Athletics Communications
Photo Credit: WVU Sports