MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-ranked West Virginia University rifle team extended its season-opening win streak to three with a 4724-4627 win at Akron, today, inside the Robert A. Pinn Shooting Range.
The Mountaineers’ (3-0, 2-0 GARC) aggregate total is a season high. WVU also shot a season-high 2378 in air rifle and added a 2346 mark in smallbore, two shots short of the season best.
The Zips (1-3, 0-1 GARC) shot 2301 smallbore and 2326 air rifle.
“Overall, everyone had a solid day,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “Our women shooters had strong days in both guns, with Ginny (Thrasher) and Elizabeth (Gratz) both shooting personal bests in air rifle and near-personal bests in smallbore. I think their performances led the way for the rest of the team.”
Sophomore Ginny Thrasher
finished first in both disciplines, shooting 593 (196 kneeling, 200 prone, 197 standing) smallbore and a career-high 599 (100-100-100-100-100-99) air rifle. Included in the Springfield, Virginia, native’s day was a school-record 200 prone mark.
Junior Elizabeth Gratz
shot a career-high 597 air rifle and finished second. Freshman Milica Babic
and sophomore Will Anti
each shot 591 and finished in third place; the mark is a season high for Anti. Senior Jean-Pierre Lucas
finished sixth overall with a 585 mark.
Though her score did not count toward the team total, freshman Morgan Phillips
shot a career-high 583.
Lucas placed second in smallbore with a season-high 588. Gratz shot 585 and placed third, while Phillips and Babic finished fifth with 580 marks; the score is a career high for Babic.
Of note, Anti shot a program-record 200 prone.
“We’re going to gain experience throughout the season. We have three freshmen shooting in their first collegiate season, and they need to gain comfort traveling and shooting NCAA matches,” Hammond noted. “They’ll develop comfort throughout the year. Our upperclassmen are leading the way right now and setting the tone. There’s no pressure on the freshmen right now, and it’s nice to see the whole team gain experience.”
Four Mountaineers shot toward both team scores: Babic, Gratz, Lucas and Thrasher. Phillips shot toward WVU’s smallbore score, while Anti shot toward the air rifle total.
WVU returns to competition tomorrow at No. 7 Ohio State, with the first relay inside Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range set for a 9 a.m. start.