MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 12, 2021) – After the first day of the 2021 NCAA Rifle Championships, fourth-ranked West Virginia University sits in fourth place, as the Mountaineers shot a 2332 smallbore total this afternoon at the Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range, in Columbus, Ohio.
No. 2 Kentucky sits in first place with a day one team score of 2352, while No. 1 TCU stands in second place with a team score of 2342. No. 3 Ole Miss is in third place (2337) and No. 5 Alaska Fairbanks follows WVU in fifth place with a day one score of 2326.
No. 6 Nebraska finished in sixth place with a team score of 2320. No. 7 Air Force (2312) and No. 8 Memphis (2301) finished in seventh and eighth, respectively.
“A little bit of a disappointing day,” coach Jon Hammond said. “I think we know we can perform a little better than we did today. Everyone gave 100%, and this is just a hard match to shoot. Today just wasn’t our day.”
In their last NCAA Championships in 2019, the Mountaineers (13-0, 8-0) shot 2331 smallbore.
Jared Eddy qualified for the eight-person smallbore final with a 590 showing.
“I’m really pleased for Jared to make the final, Hammond said. “He shot an awesome match today. The scores were exceptionally high, but he put in one of the best smallbore matches at an NCAA Championship by a WVU team member in as long as I can remember.”
Kentucky’s Mary Tucker won the NCAA smallbore title with a 594 showing in the final.
Sophomore Akihito Shimizu (190 kneeling, 197 prone, 195 standing) entered the final in a three-way tie for 10th place, as each athlete shot 582 in the open relay. Freshman Tal Engler (195 kneeling, 199 prone, 189 standing) and Sophomore Calista Smoyer (192 kneeling, 197 prone, 191 standing ) finished in a four-way tie with a 580 mark to place 12th.
Freshman Molly McGhin was the fifth Mountaineer to count toward the team’s total today and finished in a three-way tie for 13th place with a 579 (193 kneeling, 199 prone, 187 standing) total.
The 2021 NCAA Rifle Championships concludes tomorrow with the air rifle competition, which will feature Eddy, Engler, McGhin, Shimizu and Smoyer. The competition will start at 9:15 a.m. ET., with the second relay scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET. An eight-athlete final will begin at 3:45 p.m. ET.
“I’m sure they will gain a lot of great experience from today,” Hammond said. “Tomorrow we’ll give it our best effort and see how it shakes out.”