The No. 4 West Virginia University rifle team is preparing for the Great American Rifle Conference Championship on Saturday and Sunday at the WVU Rifle Range.
As the Mountaineers (7-1, 5-1 GARC) prepare for the challenge of winning a championship, they recognize that everything is in front of them and they can only control how they shoot.
Senior Sarah Osborne, who shot a career-best 597 in air rifle at the GARC Championships last year, is focusing on controlling what she can control.
“We just have to worry about what we’re doing,” Osborne said. “Shooting is team-based but is individualistic. The thing you have to realize about shooting is that you cannot control anyone else’s outcome other than yourself. I think with that in mind we just have to focus on what we’re doing.”
The Mountaineers will be going against some of the top teams in the country this weekend including No. 2 Kentucky, which was the sole loss for WVU this season.
The Mountaineers will look to rely on another strong performance from junior Jared Eddy. Eddy shot a career best last year at the GARC Championships in air rifle with a score of 596.
Eddy will try to repeat that performance this year but knows he needs to focus on the little things in order to produce his best performance possible.
“I’m focusing on the small things and not rushing anything, not forcing myself to shoot quickly,” Eddy said. “Just letting myself shoot freely. That’s something I’ve been struggling with in air rifle lately, so I’m excited to pursue that and shoot that way at this GARC Championship coming up.”
Although the Mountaineers will rely on a solid performance from Osborne and Eddy, both of them realize if they are going to win, it is going to be because of the team’s success.
“I don’t know that any one shooter is necessarily better than anyone else,” Osborne said. “I think we all have our strengths, and I think that’s good for the team because that’s what makes this team the way that it is. I think we all are able to contribute in different ways, which makes the team better, makes our teammates better, motivates us, pushes us and drives us.”
If the Mountaineers are able to win, it will be their 10th GARC Championship in the past 11 seasons. That is not the focus, however, as this team just wants to do the best it can.
“At the end of the day, if we all try our best at GARCs then I think we can go home with our heads held high if we win or lose,” Eddy said.