The West Virginia University rifle team opened its 2021 home season with a 4712-4661 win over Ohio State on Saturday, at the WVU Rifle Range, in Morgantown.
The Mountaineers (2-0, 1-0 GARC) swept the Buckeyes (1-5, 0-1 PRC) in both disciplines, winning smallbore, 2334-2308, and air rifle, 2378-2353.
“I am happy to compete again at home,” coach Jon Hammond said. “It was great to see so many of our athletes shoot on our Bill McKenzie Rifle Range for the first time. It’s challenging shooting somewhere that you are not used to. As a coach, it’s good to test the athletes that way.”
Junior Jared Eddy and freshman Becca Lamb tied for first place overall, with each shooter earning a personal-best aggregate score of 1179. The duo was followed by senior Sarah Osborn, who placed third with a 1176 combined score.
Eight Mountaineers finished inside the top 10 in both the smallbore and air rifle standings.
Eddy claimed the smallbore title with a 586 mark (195 kneeling, 199 prone, 192 standing), while a trio of freshmen (Molly McGhin, Matt Sanchez and Lamb) placed first in air rifle with matching 595s.
“We had some really consistent performances,” Hammond said. “There are a lot of areas to improve, but the scores show our depth as a team, with eight or nine athletes shooting 580+ in smallbore and 590+ in air rifle.”
Osborn finished third in smallbore with a 583 score (194 kneeling, 197 prone, 192 standing), while freshman Tal Engler (188 kneeling, 200 prone, 194 standing) and sophomore Malori Brown (197 kneeling, 196 prone, 189 standing) earned a top-five finish with matching 582 totals in a tie for fourth.
Junior Verena Zaisberger tied for sixth with a 581 smallbore mark (193 kneeling, 200 prone, 188 standing).
Sophomore Calista Smoyer and McGhin finished in a tie for eighth, shooting 580 smallbore, to round out the Mountaineers in the top 10.
Additional Mountaineer smallbore marks included a 566 for Sanchez, who placed 15th.
WVU’s Smoyer finished fourth in air rifle with a total of 594 (99-98-99-99-100-99), and Eddy (100-98-100-97-99-99) and Osborn (98-99-99-99-99-99) tied for fifth with matching 593s.
Engler and Zaisberger tied for eighth with a 591 total to round out the top 10.
Additional Mountaineer air rifle marks included a 587 for Brown, who finished 12th.
With the win, WVU improves to 48-0 all-time against the Buckeyes.
“We have a day off tomorrow,” Hammond said. “Then it is off to Ohio State Tuesday, and while it’s a busy week, the matches will be good for us to continue to learn and progress.”
The Mountaineers will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a rematch against Ohio State on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 1 p.m. ET. The match will be held at the Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range, the location of the 2021 NCAA Championships.