MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University rifle team defeated Ohio State by a score of 4718-4665 on Tuesday, at the Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range, in Columbus, Ohio.
The Mountaineers (3-0, 1-0 GARC) swept the Buckeyes (1-6, 0-1 PRC) in both disciplines, winning smallbore, 2342-2299 and air rifle, 2376-2366.
“We started with a strong team performance in smallbore, with all nine team members shooting in the 580s,” Coach Jon Hammond said. “That was our best team smallbore so far this year. Sarah Osborn led the way with a personal-best 590 (smallbore). That was great to see, and Calista Smoyer also had a personal best 585 (smallbore).”
Senior Sarah Osborn placed first overall, earning a personal-best aggregate score of 1185. She was followed by sophomore Calista Smoyer, who posted a career-high aggregate score of 1181.
All nine Mountaineers that competed finished inside the top 10 in both the smallbore and air rifle standings.
Osborn claimed a career-high smallbore title with a 590 mark (198 kneeling, 197 prone, 195 standing), while Smoyer finished first in air rifle with a 596 mark (100-99-98-100-99-100).
Freshman Tal Engler finished second in smallbore with a 587 score (196 kneeling, 197 prone, 194 standing). Sophomore Malori Brown (196 kneeling, 196 prone, 193 standing), Smoyer (194 kneeling, 196 prone, 195 standing) and junior Verena Zaisberger (193 kneeling, 197 prone, 195 standing) placed third with matching 585s to round out the Mountaineers in the top five. Both Smoyer and Zaisberger shot career-high marks in smallbore.
Freshmen Becca Lamb and Matt Sanchez tied for sixth place with a 584 smallbore mark. The duo was followed by freshman Molly McGhin (583) and junior Jared Eddy (582) placing eighth and ninth, respectively.
“Air rifle was not as strong. We struggled a little more there today,” Hammond said. “I think we can learn lots of good things from it.”
Trio Osborn (98-99-99-99-100-100), McGhin (100-100-98-100-99-98) and Eddy (99-99-100-98-100-99) tied for second in air rifle with matching 595s. Zaisberger (591) and Lamb (589) rounded out the top ten in seventh and ninth place, respectively.
Engler finished in 11th with a 588, followed by Brown in 12th place with a 596 mark. Additional Mountaineer air rifle marks included a 584 for Sanchez, who finished 14th.
With the win, WVU improves to 49-0 all-time against the Buckeyes.
“It was a different challenge doing a day trip and competing,” Hammond said. “We’ll evaluate after on what impact it had. Again, we have a few days to practice, and two conference matches this weekend, so we’ll look forward to that.”
The Mountaineers will host Akron, Ole Miss and Navy on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 8 a.m. ET. The match will be held at the WVU Rifle Range, in Morgantown. WVU plays host to Ole Miss once more on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 9 a.m., ET.