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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  • 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.

    • Uncle Tom

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

  • 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!

    • BH

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

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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

    How not them Eers!

    • Dr Sarcasm

      Bout. Stupid autocorrect

  • Kevin

    Congratulations way to go WVU!!!