MURRAY, Ky. — The WVU rifle team won its nation-best 16th NCAA championship Saturday, March 15, with a 4705 score at the finals, at Murray State’s CFSB Center.
It was the second straight title 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 was an NCAA championships record, trumping the 4700 shot by Kentucky, in 2011.
WVU breezed to victory on the strength of its winning 2367 air rifle score, shot Saturday 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 Spurgeon (591) counting toward the final tally. Junior Meelis Kiisk shot 582.
Prediger, Dvorsak and Spurgeon all advanced to the air rifle final.
Prediger, from Petersaurach, Germany, 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 Prediger with a 205.4 mark.
WVU fans are invited to a celebration for the national champion rifle team from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, March 17, in the Jerry West Lounge at the WVU Coliseum.