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.