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WVU Takes First Place After Day One at GARC Championships

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 27, 2021) – On the strength of its 2346 smallbore score, the West Virginia University rifle team stands in first place after one day of virtual competition, at the Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships, in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Kentucky follows close behind in second place with a day one team score of 2338, while Army stands in third place with a team score of 2330. Memphis sits in fourth place (2327), while North Carolina State and Ole Miss are tied for fifth place with matching team scores of 2319. 

Additionally, freshman Tal Engler placed second overall. The Tzur Yigal, Israel, native finished with a score of 590 (198 kneeling, 198 prone, 194 standing). 

Kentucky’s Mary Tucker shot a 592 (199 kneeling, 199 prone, 194 standing) to take first place, while Taylor Gibson of Memphis followed Engler and placed third overall shooting a 589 (199 kneeling, 200 prone, 190 standing). 
“I’m pleased with the team’s performance today,” coach Jon Hammond said. “There were a lot of positive things, but we could definitely improve prone across the board. We finished strong in standing. Tal and Jared both had solid matches, and it’s great to see them near the top of the standings individually.”
Juniors Jared Eddy (195 kneeling, 197 prone, 197 standing) and Verena Zaisberger (195 kneeling, 200 prone, 193 standing) round out the Mountaineer’s top 5 with a fourth (589) and fifth (588) place performance, respectively.  

The Hohenems, Austria native, Zaisberger, shot a career-high in smallbore and shot particularly strong in prone, matching the program record with a perfect 200. 
Trio freshman Molly McGhin, sophomore Malori Brown and senior Sarah Osborn finished in seventh with matching 584s. They were followed by sophomore Akihito Shimizu who placed eighth with a 583 mark.  

Freshman Becca Lamb shot a 579, good for 11th place, while duo freshman Matt Sanchez and sophomore Calista Smoyer tied for 13th with matching 577s.

Five Mountaineers counted toward the team’s scores: Eddy, Engler, McGhin, Shimizu and Smoyer.  

“We’re looking forward to tomorrow and finishing our season at home on a good note,” Hammond said.

The GARC Championships continue Sunday, Feb. 28, at 9 a.m. ET, with the air rifle competition. Live targets are available at

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