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Dominant final day lifts Mountaineers

2015 National Collegiate Rifle

Only last year’s West Virginia rifle team was more accurate than this spring’s Mountaineers, who came just three points short of matching their championship-record performance in 2014.

And they needed every one of them.

After trailing Alaska-Fairbanks by 12 points after the first day’s small bore competition, West Virginia rallied to shoot the second-best air rifle score in team and NCAA history on the championship’s final day, a score of 2,383 that gave them 4,702 points — enough for their third straight rifle championship and 17th overall.

Alaska-Fairbanks’ score: 4,700.

“It was an amazing performance today,” said West Virginia coach Jon Hammond, who won his fourth title with the Mountaineers. “All five of them shot incredible.”

Senior Maren Prediger captured the individual air rifle title, but strong performances throughout the team pushed West Virginia over the top. Junior Michael Bamsey’s fifth-place finish in the first relay pulled the Mountaineers within six points, and junior Michael Bamsey’s 590 in the second relay narrowed the deficit to two. That put West Virginia close enough in the final for senior Ziva Dvorsak’s sixth-place 594 and junior Garrett Spurgeon’s second-place 596 – one short of his career best – to clinch the title.

The Results

2015 National Collegiate Rifle

Team results
West Virginia, 4,702; Alaska-Fairbanks, 4,700, TCU, 4,667; Nebraska, 4,667; Jacksonville State, 4,664

Elite 89
Mats Eriksson, Alaska-Fairbanks

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