MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (February 23, 2021) – The No. 4-ranked West Virginia University rifle team will compete for its nation-best 20th NCAA title at the 2021 NCAA National Championships, as announced Tuesday afternoon by the NCAA Rifle Committee.
This year’s NCAA Championships will be held March 12-13, at Ohio State University, in Columbus, Ohio. The Mountaineers (7-1, 5-1 GARC) look to reclaim the NCAA Championship and earn their sixth title in nine seasons.
The qualification is the 14th straight for the Mountaineers. WVU owns a nation-best 19 national titles and has won six under 14-year coach Jon Hammond, including five straight from 2013-17.
“We’re delighted to be going back to the NCAA Championships, especially in a year like this,” Hammond said. “Ultimately, I think we have to take a step back and be grateful that we got to this point. We had a season and will now have a chance to compete for a National Championship. It will look and feel different in this COVID-19 world, but I’m just happy it’s happening. I am excited for the team members to get this opportunity.”
The Mountaineers qualified as the field’s fourth-ranked team with a 9436 qualification mark, based on the team’s qualifying average of 4720.00 and its qualifying score of 4713, earned on Feb. 20, at the Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range, in Columbus, Ohio.
Joining the Mountaineers at the championship are No. 1 Kentucky, No. 2 Ole Miss, No. 3 TCU, No. 5 Alaska-Fairbanks, No. 6 Memphis, No. 7 Nebraska and No. 8 Air Force.
The teams earned championship bids based on the average of its 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 six years ago stipulates that a school that qualifies as a team is disqualified from sending individual qualifiers.
Up next, WVU shoots in the Great America Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships on Feb. 27-28, in a virtual match, in Morgantown.