The West Virginia University rifle team will begin to defend their NCAA championship this weekend.
In Morgantown, at the newly opened Bill McKenzie Rifle Range, WVU will play host to the GARC championships.
Even though the Mountaineers have qualified for the NCAA tournament in a few weeks- and as the No. 1 overall seed- the teams focus this weekend will be on bringing another GARC championship to Morgantown.
“We have to stay focused on this weekend and the GARC Championships. This match will be great preparation for the NCAA Championships, and we’re excited to again shoot at the Bill McKenzie Rifle Range,” said head coach Jon Hammond.
WVU is coming off of an undefeated regular season, going 13-0 overall, with an 8-0 record within the GARC. All nine teams in the conference will be competing over this two day event.
On Saturday, the smallbore competition will take place, followed by air rifle being shot on Sunday.
Morgan Phillips will begin to defend her crown as smallbore champion this weekend.
West Virginia will enter this weekend GARC championships having won the last eight in a row. Last year, WVU shot a winning score of 4725.
Hammond said “We have to focus on this weekend and this match. We need to focus on performing our best these two days to winning a conference championship and shooting our best.”
Ginny Thrasher is the GARC’s best air rifle shooter, shooting an average score of 596.786 over the course of the season. Thrasher also ranks second in the conference in smallbore with a season average of 586.571.
Last season, Thrasher won the individual air rifle championship, while Morgan Phillips placed second in smallbore.
West Virginia will be without one of their top shooters this weekend. Milica Babic is participating in the 2018 European Championships in Hungary.
The action starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m. on Sunday.