West Virginia University have won the Great America Rifle Conference Championship for the 9th time since 1998. The GARC Championship involves both air rifle and small bore .22LR target rifle competitions, held over two days.
The Championship was held over the weekend of the 24th and 25th February at West Virginia University’s new state of the art Bill McKenzie Rifle Range. The coed GARC Championship was established in 1998, and is part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The competition features individual and team shoots. The competition fosters shooters who go on to shoot nationally and internationally.
A number of respected schools take part in the NCAA’s rifle shooting season and in the GARC Championship, including West Point (Army), Annapolis (Navy), Ole Miss and Kentucky. West Virginia University have been dominant in the competition over the past decade winning not just 9 GARC Championships but also 5 NCAA Championships. West Virginia currently sit as No. 1 seed going into the upcoming 2018 NCAA National Championships.
While West Virgina won with an aggregate score of 4699 points, No. 4 seed Kentucky, finished second overall pushing West Virginia hard by scoring a total of 4686 points. After the competition West Virginia’s rifle team coach, Jon Hammond, reflected:
This was a good match for our team to work through today. It’s OK for us to struggle and battle it out a little bit. We need to make sure we aren’t complacent and do the preparation we need to do the next couple of weeks. This is a good reminder that there are other competitive teams. While we were able to win the championship, and that’s great, there’s a lot for us to work on these next few weeks.
Navy finished 3rd with 4663, Nebraska and Ole Miss tied for 4th at 4651 while NC State came in 6th with 4646, closely followed by West Point with 4636.