WVU to be represented at 2012 Olympics
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 01:06
The West Virginia University rifle team will have a strong representation at the 2012 Olympics in London this year.
Rising senior Petra Zublasing and former Mountaineer Nicco Campriani will be shooting for Italy, while WVU head coach Jon Hammond will be competing for the United Kingdom.
In addition to those three, the United States rifle team is led by its coach, former WVU shooter Dave Johnson.
Having that many people represent the West Virginia rifle program at the highest level of competition is something Hammond is proud of, and although he’ll be competing against a couple of the shooters he coached, he doesn’t think it will be that big of a deal.
"Having Petra (Zublasing) and Nicco (Campriani) (shoot in the Olympics) is great," Hammmond said. "It says a lot for the WVU rifle team."
Zublasing will be competing in her first Olympic Games, while it will be Campriani’s second appearance on the Olympic stage.
The reigning air rifle national champion at WVU, Zublasing is looking to continue to shoot well when she makes her appearance in London.
"She’s a world-class competitor," Hammond said. "The standard for women’s rifle will be tougher this year, but I think with support and help from the fellow rifle members, she can succeed in her first games."
She’s not currently ranked among the top five in any women’s rifle event, but if Campriani is any evidence of what experience does to help improve, then her stock could rise following an impressive performance this summer.
As for the team Zublasing will be competing on when she shoots her final season in Morgantown, Hammond thinks his team could be ready to make a run at its 15th national championship in program history.
"We are still a young team. We’ve got many returning members who come back with another year of experience as well as a few new riflemen and women," he said.
The Mountaineer rifle team has been working hard this offseason, with several members of the team competing in offseason shooting events to maintain their skills throughout the break.
And they’ll need all of that preparation when they compete in the Great American Rifle Conference, which features many of the best teams in the coutnry.
"The Great American Rifle Conference is the best conference in the nation for shooting," Hammond said. "It’s tough every year for everyone. They are all competitors, and they all show up to perform every time out."