MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It’s a huge weekend for the Mountaineer Rifle Team. The team earlier this week returned to the top position in the NCAA rankings after sitting in third for much of the season. Thursday they knocked off previously unbeaten and third ranked Alaska-Fairbanks. Saturday, they’ll welcome number 2 Kentucky to the Mountaineer Rifle Range.

The Mountaineers shot at near perfection Thursday defeating the Nanooks 4709-4680. They fell one point short of their NCAA best season high score.

West Virginia dominated in air rifle 2380-2348, one shot short of the program best mark. The Mountaineers slipped in smallbore and were beaten 2332-2329.

Four of the five WVU shooters whose scores counted finished in the top four in air rifle. Junior Maren Prediger finished first with a 597 (99-100-99-99-100-100) score, while classmate Ziva Dvorsak matched her season-high showing of 596 and placed second. Sophomore Garrett Spurgeon finished third and matched his career high with a 594 score, and junior Thomas Kyanko shot a season-high 593 for a fourth-place finish; the score is one-shot short of the Wellsburg, W.Va., native’s career high. Junior Meelis Kiisk, the fifth WVU counter, tallied 580.

Saturday’s match against Kentucky will be for the Great American Rifle Conference regular-season title, which was won a year ago by the Wildcats. The match starts at 8 a.m. and the public is invited to sit inside the range for the air rifle relays.

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  • WVcoal

    I love the WV Mountaineer Rifle Team. Keep up the good work -- you are a source of pride for our state.
    I wish they would post WVU Rifle Team articles under the WVU Sports section.

  • Rob

    Actually, a group of five Rifle Team supporters asked AD Luck in 2005 what was needed to reinstate the team. Luck said raise $1M for scholarships in 5 years and it willl happen. Through events like the Wild Game Dinner and some great financial support, they raised $1.25M in three years. They do receive Athletic Dept. funds for operations and staff but an endowment has been set for the scholarships.

    BTW, nice job Coach Hammands! He is a winner!

  • The Answer

    Tax funded or not Greg at least this is a program that who ever is funding it is getting their monies worth..

  • Greg

    Good job by our tax funded BB gun squad.

    • Shadow

      As I recall, the Rifle Team was left off the Funding Chart and was supported by the Team Supporters. If they get WVU money now, I don't know. No matter what, they are not in the hole for 20 million like the football team.

      • Wowbagger

        That is why I waffled. I know funding was dropped, but some might have been restored.

        Also, I have a last generation Olympic level Walther air rifle (with an internal pump instead of pre-charged pneumatic), that I bought from the guy from Tenessee who works on the team's air rifles and at ten meters you wear out standard pellet traps as the rifles are so accurate that if you are a half way good shot the pellets wear a little dimple in the plate behind the X ring rendering the trap unsafe. The world's best shot couldn't do that with a BB gun because they aren't nearly that accurate.

        I finally had to buy a 22 LR bullet trap that allows you to move the target around.

    • Wowbagger


      Congratulations, you are now number one on my list for stupid comments of 2014.

      The air rifles used in these competitions are totally unlike your toy BB gun and I doubt the Mountaineer Rifle Team receives more public funds than, say the basketball, baseball or football teams and they are far better at their sport.

      • Greg

        When wvu dropped the program several years back [2003-2004,] the legislature stepped in immediately and passed a bill to pay for the program.

  • JT

    Always very proud of our national power rifle team...

    Lets Gooooooooo!


    WVU WON. Great News!

  • Shadow

    A question, Why wasn't this filed under Sports? It should have been filed twice.....

  • Shadow

    A WVU Team that all WV can be proud of. They have been consistent Champions.

  • WV Grad

    Gun control--the right kind. Mountaineers will out shoot Kentucky!

  • Ken Hackworth


    • Leroy j gibbs