WVU rifle team seeking 20th national championship

WVU rifle team file photo
WVU rifle team file photo(WTAP)
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 10:01 AM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The No. 2-seeded West Virginia University rifle team looks to capture its nation-best 20th national championship this weekend, as the Mountaineers get set to conclude their season at the 2023 NCAA Rifle Championships from March 10-11, in Akron, Ohio.

This year’s championships are hosted by Akron. Each day of action is set to begin at 8:45 a.m. ET, from James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron.

A live stream for both relays will be available on NCAA.com Additionally, live stats and targets can be found on WVUsports.com

Friday opens with two smallbore relays, followed by the individual finals at 3 p.m. ET. Saturday wraps up the competition with two air rifle relays, followed by individual finals at 2 p.m. ET.

No. 2-seed West Virginia will compete alongside No. 1 TCU, No. 3 Alaska-Fairbanks, No. 4 Murray State, No. 5 Kentucky, No. 6 Ole Miss, No. 7 Nebraska and No. 8 Air Force. WVU went 6-4 against members of the 2023 championship field during the regular season.

The Mountaineers last won an NCAA championship in 2017. Prior to that, WVU captured five consecutive national titles from 2013-17.

Hammond has helped the Mountaineers hoist six national championships during his first 15 seasons with the team. Additionally, West Virginia boasts 28 individual NCAA champions in program history, with the most recent being Morgan Phillips in 2018 (smallbore).

This season, the Mountaineers have shot a team score 4725 or better 10 times, the most in a single season since 2021-22 (seven). WVU’s season-high score came two times this season, most recently against Alaska-Fairbanks, Kentucky and Georgia Southern on Jan. 14, when the team tallied a 4751. The mark is a program best.

Additionally, West Virginia shot a program-record 2371 in smallbore at the same event on Jan. 14, besting the previous mark of 2364, which came on Jan. 22, 2022, against Navy.

WVU enters the 2023 NCAA Championships with a team scoring average of 4731.600, which ranks No. 3 nationally. The Mountaineers also hold national rankings of No. 3 in smallbore average (2349.533) and No. 3 in air rifle average (2382.067).