The WVU rifle team captured its fourth straight Great American Rifle Conference Championship Sunday.

West Virginia scored a two-day team total of 4705 to win the match at the University of Mississippi’s Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center in Oxford, Miss.

The team shot a 2370 in air rifle on Sunday to claim first place after shooting a first-place 2335 in smallbore Saturday. This was WVU’s seventh GARC title and the first time a team ever won four in a row. WVU had three-peated three times.

“We got the job done today, and that’s the result we wanted, so I’m very happy for the team,” says seventh-year coach Jon Hammond. “Again, we left the range today knowing there are things we can still improve on, but overall this was a steady team performance. It’s nice for us to win four straight GARC titles, but right now, we’re focused on finishing the season strong. We’ll look back on the magnitude of this later, but really this weekend was just about completing a job. We’ll go back to the WVU Rifle Range tomorrow and continue to train for the 2013 NCAA Championships. There’s still one big job for us to finish.”

Senior Petra Zublasing and sophomore Maren Prediger finished second and third, respectively in air rifle with final scores of 700.5 and 699.7. The duo each shot a championship-best 597 in the open relay. Zublasing, the GARC Shooter and Senior of the Year, as well as the conference’s smallbore champion, tallied 103.5 in the final, while Prediger earned 102.7.

“The girls are both incredibly good air rifle shooters, and they both had solid matches today,” says Hammond. “They had their own struggles at certain points, but both are experienced and calm, and they dealt with their difficulties accordingly and produced excellent scores.”

Additionally, Mountaineer sophomore Meelis Kiisk also shot in today’s final and finished sixth overall with a 691.0 mark. Kiisk tallied 590 in the open relay and 101.0 in the final.

The No. 2-ranked Kentucky Wildcats finished second with a score of 4690. Seventh-ranked Nebraska was third at 4647, while Army and Ole Miss rounded out the top five.

The Mountaineers now focus on the 2013 NCAA Championships set for March 8-9 at Ohio State in Columbus.

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  • Alice De franco

    Congratulations from Sunny California to the team.
    What an honor to the school and to each one on the team. They have made a name for themselves, anytime and anypolace they wish to go after graduation.
    We watch the shooting matchs on the computer.

  • truthperme

    For Petra Zublasing not to get West Virginia amateur athlete of the year is a tragedy. I'm all for the big sports of FB and BB at WVU, have been for years; but there is no way Tavon Austin excelled in his sport to the degree that she has in hers, not even close. Just look at what she has done - she is the best shooter to ever take aim at WVU, and that's saying a lot. If there could be a redo by the voters, and give her the award, no one would fault sportswriters for correcting their mistake. Do the right thing.

  • Tim C

    Congrats Team! You deserve it, maybe you could show our bball team how to shoot....

  • Kelly

    I believe youth shooting in whatever form is the future of our second amendment. Congrats WVU for this impressive win. Please, each of you, take at least one other youth and show him/her the pure joy of shooting.

  • Jim

    This team and its coaches make me proud to be a Mountaineer!
    Guns obviously have some redeeming value in society and a firm place in collegiate athletics. Refreshing, this is soooo different from Colubine, VaTech, etc., a peek at the students with real character.

  • joe

    I would think the amazing rifle team should take over the new BB practice facility. Apparently it is not being used by any of the players.

    • mike

      Lol ouch

    • Robert

      C'mon man, we talkin about practice...

  • unclec

    Cont's keep up the great work. I agree with Woodchuck you are breath of fresh air to the faithful WV fans

  • Woodchuck

    Congratulations TEAM. I wish you would get more recognition from WVU. You are the brightest spot in WVU sports again this year!!!!!

    Oliver Luck should be building you a new complex!