MURRAY, Ky. – The No. 1-ranked West Virginia University rifle team secured its16th NCAA championship Sunday with a 4705 score at the 2014 NCAA Rifle Championships at Murray State. 

The title was the second straight for the Mountaineers and third under eight-year coach Jon Hammond. WVU’s first title under Hammond came in 2009. The rifle team is the only WVU program to win an NCAA championship.

The Mountaineers’ combined score is an NCAA Championships’ record, trumping the previous record of 4700, shot by Kentucky in 2011. WVU is the first team to win consecutive NCAA titles since Alaska-Fairbanks won three straight from 2006-08. The Mountaineers last won back-to-back championships with four straight victories from 1995-98.

No. 3 Alaska-Fairbanks totaled 4677 and finished second, while No. 2 Kentucky shot 4675 and placed third. No. 6 Memphis finished fourth (4669), and No. 4 Nebraska placed fifth (4660). 

WVU breezed to victory on the strength of its winning 2367 air rifle score, shot this morning. The NCAA air rifle title also is the second straight for the Mountaineers.

Five Mountaineers shot for the team score, with juniors Maren Prediger (596), Ziva Dvorsak (594) and Thomas Kyanko (586), and sophomore Garrett Spurgeon (591) counting toward the final tally. Junior Meelis Kiisk shot 582 today.

Prediger, Dvorsak and Spurgeon all advanced to the air rifle final, the second final in as many days for Dvorsak and Spurgeon. Prediger, a Petersaurach, Germany, native, entered the final with the championships’ best relay score and finished as the national runner-up with a 205.0 mark. Kentucky’s Connor Davis edged out Prediger with a 205.4 mark.

Dvorsak, a native of Slovenia, finished third with a 185.1 mark; she placed seventh in smallbore yesterday. Additionally, Spurgeon, a Canton, Mo., native, shot 143.5 in the final and placed fifth. He finished second in smallbore Friday.

The Mountaineers entered today’s air rifle competition with a 17-shot lead, having secured the smallbore title yesterday with a 2338 score. That title was the first-ever under Hammond.

WVU, the five-time reigning Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) champions, finished the 2013-14 campaign with a 10-0 overall record and a 7-0 conference mark.

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  • Teufel


  • Greg

    should be under sports, not outdoors

  • CaptainQ

    And to think, many years ago WVU was considering doing away with it's rifle team due to budget cuts!

    Why do away with the only sport the Mountaineers are consistently Championship caliber at?

    Oh well, the Rifle Team has prevailed! Congratulations to the Mountaineers!

  • Uncle Tom

    Maybe Nugent will pick it up. Great fit for his show.

  • Hoffy

    My sentiments exactly.

  • BH

    Congratulations! The success of the WVU Rifle Team is absolutely remarkable.

  • BH

    Very good question. I think the T-shirts would be a big seller.

  • jay zoom

    are you kidding Charles more funding for the rifle team from Ollie (maybe Mr. Gee might look into it) but as long as that useless Oliver luck has his fingers in the till the rifle team will never see a dime. the almighty dollar is more important to him than a national championship for anyone. I'm glad the women proved him wrong.

  • Charles

    How about some more funding for a program that produces results? Yes, they don't make money, but its the only sport at WVU ever to win a National Championship-and the only one likely to unless the Women's Basketball team does. Give'em some money OL and Dr. Gee. They deserve it. Great job!

  • William101

    The rifle team is amazing.

  • Independent View

    All Mountaineer fans can share in this great win and I do not wish to diminish anyone's enthusiasm, however, to really appreciate what it takes to secure a victory like this, one needs to be a competitive shooter.
    Competitive shooting involves a tremendous amount of self-discipline and months of boring practice sessions. It also requires that your body is in shape to overcome the rigors of holding a heavy rifle for extended periods of time and at different positions. Proper nutrition and the right attitude are also paramount for competitive shooters.
    For anyone to say that competitive shooting is not a demanding sport is uninformed. Although they are thousands of college-aged students that basketball, football, baseball or soccer comes naturally to them and would excel at the D-1 level, there are not thousands, but rather a pool of hundreds that would excel at a D-I Rifle Team. Being on a rifle team is an unusual sport. It's one of the few sports that team abilities are important, but equally important is individual abilities.
    The scarcity of elite shooters dictates that Coach Hammond recruits internationally as well as nationally. This important milestone victory should help the rifle team garner more funding and not have to depend on private funding sources to subsidize the team. If the basketball teams, football team, soccer, baseball team, etc. had a record like the rifle team they would have money thrown at them. Not the case for the rifle team.
    Just the perspective of a competitive shooter.

  • jay zoom

    Good show for the rifle team and WVU - at least we have two winning teams in Morgantown at WVU the rifle team and the lady mountaineers maybe down the road and I mean way down the road we will have four

  • Wv forever

    I'm sorry to have to see a negative on this blog. Wake up ,the reason we have a shortage is because everyone keeps buying it up. Get what you need and leave the rest your just driving up the cost. People are sooo wrong on this

  • Wv forever

    We need to see this sport on TV. Great job team!!

  • wvajoker

    That is a good record and I would love to see this continue but in the near future this sport will go the way of the wind when Obama does away with ammunition for the small bore guns.

  • Jason

    Pretty easy google, looks like UCLA has 110 total NCAA championships. 16 is still impressive for a team though, I wonder how many schools have a rifle team? Probably another easy google.

  • Justin

    at least 1of sports programs can win, is Oliver going to fire coach Hammond?

  • Fan from the Eastern Panhandle

    Wow!!! Simply awesome! Congrats team.

  • Berta

    Congratulations !!! It's a great day to be a Mountaineer !!!

  • ernie

    Great job Mountaineers! It's a shame this sport isn't made for TV, but it would be nice to see a few highlights including their celebration and trophy presentation.

  • JJ

    Great job. Congratulations on a amazing season. You truly make West Virginia proud!

  • Dennis

    Way to go!!! Now let the AD step forward with some more funding to support this program. You would hope that the most successful program at winning national titles at WVU would receive more support than it does.

  • WV Grad

    Where can I get a WVU rifle cap and T-shirt?
    Mountaineer Pride!

  • Rick55

    Highest score ever....impressive! Thanks for the National Championship!

  • richard

    how many schools can say they have 16 total championships in anything? i bet any school could add all their NCAA championships (from all sports) and WVU would be number 1 on the list. doesnt matter if its all from one sport or combined sports-just the fact they have 16 is impressive!

  • Dub V Fan

    Congrats on bringing another title back home. GO EERS !!!

  • Indian boy nice to see this awesome program continuing the WVU Rifle tradition. congratulations another great year and another title.

  • Mister Man

    WWOOOWWWW!!!! Congratulations Mountaineers!!!!

  • Aaron

    Congratulations to the West Virginia Mountaineers on another championship?

  • Dr Sarcasm

    Bout. Stupid autocorrect

  • Dr Sarcasm

    How not them Eers!

  • Kevin

    Congratulations way to go WVU!!!