The No. 3-ranked West Virginia University rifle team edged out No. 4 TCU in the team’s lone neutral-site contest of the season by a score of 4724-4723, at the X Count in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
After falling behind to the Horned Frogs in smallbore, 2342-2339, the Mountaineers (5-0, 3-0 GARC) fired on all cylinders to win the air-rifle discipline, 2385-2381. Sophomore Molly McGhin led all shooters with an aggregate score of 1189 and tied the WVU program record in air rifle after shooting 600 in the relay. The Griffin, Georgia, native is the sixth shooter in school history to accomplish the feat.
In total, seven WVU shooters placed inside the top 10 on the individual match standings and each student-athlete tallied an aggregate score of 1175 or better.
“We’re obviously really happy to get a win against a really good TCU team, who always is competitive, WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “We’ve had a ton of close matches against them through the years, and this one was no different. We’re pleased with the win, even though we probably didn’t have our best outing in smallbore, but we can improve in that area moving forward. It was encouraging to see us rebound in air rifle and really put together one our best team performances in air rifle this season.
“Molly really led us in both categories today, and she has worked extremely hard to get to where she is currently. That obviously shows in her performance today in shooting a school and NCAA record in air rifle. Her hard work has definitely paid off, and in all, she continually sets a really good example for the team.”
Following behind McGhin, senior Jared Eddy compiled his best performance of the season so far to finish third among the top individuals. The Columbus, Georgia, native tallied a season-best aggregate score of 1182 and set a new career high in air rifle, with 597.
Junior Akihito Shimizu finished fifth among the top individuals with an aggregate score of 1180, including scores of 585 in smallbore (192 kneeling, 199 prone, 194 standing) and 595 in air rifle (100-100-99-98-99-99).
Freshman Natalie Perrin placed seventh in the match and tallied an aggregate score of 1179 and set a new career high in air rifle after shooting a 596 in the discipline. She was followed in eighth place by sophomore Matt Sanchez, who tallied an aggregate score of 1177 (584 smallbore, 593 air rifle).
Coming in ninth place on the match leaderboard, sophomore Tal Engler shot a combined score of 1176 (582 smallbore, 594 air rifle). Of note, Engler has now tallied an air-rifle score of 594 or better in all five matches this season.
Engler was followed by junior Malori Brown in 10th place. The China Spring, Texas, native shot an 1175 overall, including a season-best, air-rifle score of 592. Brown also tallied a 583 in smallbore (194 kneeling, 197 prone, 192 standing).
WVU’s final three shooters all showed a combined score of 1171 or better.
Senior Verena Zaisberger tallied an aggregate score of 1173, including a 580 in smallbore and 593 in air rifle. Sophomore Becca Lamb scored a combined total of 1172 (585 smallbore, 587 air rifle), while junior Calista Smoyer netted an aggregate score of 1171 (582 smallbore, 589 air rifle).
Up next, returns to Morgantown, on Saturday, Nov. 13, as the Mountaineers play host to Army at the Bill McKenzie Mobile Rifle Range inside the WVU Shell Building. The match against the Black Knights is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET.
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