Sophomore shooter Garrett Spurgeon has become a leader in the range this season for the Mountaineers.
“He’s one of the younger ones, but on the range he’s definitely one of the leaders,” said WVU head coach Jon Hammond.
Spurgeon hails from Canton, Mo., where he was a standout shooter. He attended Canton R-V High School where he was a two-time Missouri air rifle state champion. In 2012, Spurgeon competed in the USA National Shooting Championships for Rifle and Pistol and earned a gold medal in the junior men’s 50m rifle three positions.
Spurgeon was a breakout athlete in his freshman year, winning the Great American Conference Rookie of the Year award.
The Canton native earned 583.7 season average in smallbore and 587.57 season average in air rifle, giving him 1171.07 aggregate score for his first season with the Mountaineers. His season average for smallbore was second on the team to Petra Zublasing’s 591.33 in the discipline. Spurgeon was a part of the smallbore, air rifle and aggregate counting squads during his freshman year.
Spurgeon was selected to the All-GARC First Team Smallbore and Combined Score and received Honorable Mention in air rifle. He was also selected to the NRA All-America First Team Smallbore and Second Team Air Rifle.
This season, Spurgeon has improved in every sense of the word. His season averages for both smallbore and air rifle are up, boosting his aggregate score.
If you could describe Spurgeon’s sophomore year in one word, it would be consistency.
“I think the biggest thing is his consistency has really improved and looking at his air rifle matches, he has basically been tying or beating his personal-best, so he’s at a really good place, and he enjoys this part of the season,” Hammond said.
Consistent seems to be the word Spurgeon would use to describe his performances this season, as well.
“Consistency was a big goal of mine coming into this year, and I think that so far I’ve accomplished that,” he said. “The scores haven’t changed very much, but they are more consistent.”
Spurgeon is averaging 584 in smallbore and 592 in air rifle. He put on his best smallbore performances against NC State and at the Winthrow Invite and his best air rifle performance against Kentucky in his last regular season match. The Mountaineers won the GARC regular season title after defeating Kentucky at home.
The Mountaineers competed in the NCAA qualifiers Saturday and Spurgeon earned one of his top marks in smallbore, shooting 586 and placing first in the discipline for the eighth time this season. He followed smallbore by shooting a 580 in air rifle. He was on the counting squad for both guns.
Spurgeon only has two matches left, as he and his team will compete Saturday in the GARC Championships and will travel back to Murray, Ky., in three weeks for the NCAA Championships.
“I know he’s highly motivated, and he’s kept pushing himself. He came in as one of the top recruits and a great shooter,” Hammond said. “There’s always going to be limited room for improvement, and it’s always hard to improve where you’re at a really high level, but he’s really pushed on this year.
“He’s a competitor, and I think he’s ready to finish out the season in these final matches.”