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WVU to host NCAA rifle championships for first time


Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  — Figuratively speaking, West Virginia University held a gun to the head of the NCAA and has convinced it to bring one of its national championships to town.

Naturally, it is the rifle championship.

The Mountaineers own 19 NCAA titles, including the last five in a row, to say nothing of Ginny Thrasher’s Olympic gold won this year in Rio. All of which says they know something about the event, and so it was that Tuesday the NCAA rewarded them with the 2019 NCAA rifle championships to be hosted on March 8 and 9.

“We are incredibly excited to host the 2019 NCAA National Championships,” coach Jonathan Hammond said. “We’re especially excited because this will be the first time WVU has hosted a final championship in any sport. I am positive the university and the WVU Athletic Department will host a first-class championship.

“The history and the tradition of the WVU rifle program, as well as our recent success, will surely make this championship even more special. I feel confident that Mountaineer Nation will be incredibly excited to watch and support a national championship in Morgantown.”

In addition, the NCAA has awarded WVU a gymnastics regional event for 2021 on April 3 at the Coliseum.

What’s the matter, they haven’t yet seen the new baseball stadium in town or the new tradition that the baseball team is building?


West Virgina’s football team dodged a bullet in spring practice with the lower leg injury to senior starting left guard Kyle Busch not being serious enough to cost him playing time.

Bosch was scheduled to undergo what coach Dana Holgorsen termed on Tuesday’s spring Big 12 coaches conference call “a minor lower body procedure” that was non-surgical in nature.

According to Holgorsen, Bosch will undergo about a month of rehabilitation and be ready to go for summer drills.

Bosch is the leader and linchpin of the offensive line and his loss would have been a major problem.


It was obvious with just three quarterbacks and with Will Grier’s availability — while expected to be approved to start the season but still not yet guaranteed — that WVU was in need of another quarterback.

The Mountaineers landed their man this week out of Butler College in Dodge City, Kansas, in David Israel, who will have four years to complete three years of eligibility.

It’s expected unless there is a problem with Grier — either via the NCAA’s final ruling on him or injury — that Israel would redshirt this season and then compete for playing time.

A tall, thin player at 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, his numbers weren’t overly impressive in his first college season, completing 126 of 242 attempts for 1,841 yards and 13 touchdowns. He suffered 12 interceptions and was sacked 10 times in a 7-5 season.


It turns out that Nathan Adrian played the final five games of his West Virginia basketball career with a painful torn labrum in his left shoulder that required surgery and that will leave him in a sling for the next six weeks, according to a MetroNews report.

Adrian suffered the injury when he tangled arms with Texas forward Jarrett Allen during the Big 12 quarterfinals.

He continued to play, but obviously was far from 100 percent, his shoulder numbed from injections as he was having trouble getting his left arm above his head. He made only 13 of 36 shots through WVU’s run to the Sweet 16, some bad misses because he could not use his guide hand on the ball.

Still, he gutted it out to average 32 minutes a game, battling for every loose ball and playing his brand of hard-nosed defense.

Adrian finished his senior season averaging 9.6 points a game as WVU closed out the year at 28-9.

Adrian said he will not be able to play professionally right away as the arm is going to require serious and lengthy rehabilitation.


The West Virginia University gymnastics team is ranked No. 20 in the final 2017 Road to Nationals Rankings.

The Mountaineers’ (13-10, 3-3) position is their highest in the final season rankings since sitting at No. 18 in 2007. WVU’s last postseason ranking came in 2012, when the team ranked No. 21.

WVU ended the 2016 season ranked No. 31 nationally.


The WVU women’s basketball team will renew acquaintances with rival Virginia Tech, as well as play Butler and Drexel in the 2017 Paradise Jam, held at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands from Nov. 23 through Nov. 25.

For the first time since 2006, the Mountaineers and Hokies will play on Nov. 25. Tech holds an 11-5 edge in the all-time series and won the last matchup, 60-56, over the Mountaineers in the Basketball Travelers Classic in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Nov. 13, 2006.

On Feb. 10, 2004, coach Mike Carey recorded his first top-25 victory at West Virginia with a 69-66 win over the No. 21-ranked Hokies at the WVU Coliseum.

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