Thrasher qualifies for U.S. Olympic team

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Jerry Reed once sang a song about it, “When you’re hot, you’re hot.” Right now, WVU Rifle Team Member Ginny Thrasher could melt a steel beam.

Thrasher, fresh off sweeping the individual air rifle and small bore competition at the NCAA Rifle Championships won the U.S. Olympic Trial in Georgia Monday. The event lasted three days, but Thrasher’s scores were so high, she literally clinched the victory on day two.  She ended the match with an overall score of 586 out of a possible 600.   She shot 193 standing, 198 prone, and 195 kneeling.  The victory solidified her spot on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team for the summer games in Rio.

“Well, right now I’m going to go home and take a calculus test,” said the Mountaineer freshman from Springfield, Va. in an interview with USA Shooting soon after the match. “I’ll be shooting a few world cups this summer, doing some training, and then going to Rio experiencing it all and trying to have a great time.”

Thrasher was shooting against some of the best shooters in the world during the competition and largely had to win the match to

Thrasher shoots during a kneeling relay at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Ft. Benning, Georgia

secure a spot.  With high respect for her WVU teammates, Thrasher was asked about being in competition with so much talent.

“It’s really gratifying being around that much talent,” she said, “But it’s really not all that much different from being at home at the West Virginia range.”

As for qualifying for a spot in the Olympics, Thrasher couldn’t have been more thrilled.

“I really like traveling and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to go to a new country,” she said. “It’s going to be fun to experience shooting at the biggest match in the world for the best country in the world.”

Thrasher may not be done yet. She qualified this week in the smallbore event, but will also shoot in the Olympic air rifle trials next month along with WVU Teammate Garrett Spurgeon.

WVU shooter Elizabeth Gratz finished 8th in Monday’s Olympic Trial in smallbore with a score of 581.

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