Repeat League Title

After dropping a head-to-head match with Kentucky on Feb. 5, West Virginia was determined to avenge the setback that cost it the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) regular season title. It did just that with a program-best score of 4704 to win the conference championship over the weekend.

WVU improved on the 4680 total it posted against Kentucky earlier in the season to easily outshoot the Wildcats, who shot 4672 over the two day conference championships. Army finished third with an aggregate total of 4644.

the conference title is WVU's second in two years and fifth overall. The Mountaineers are the first conference team to repeat as champions since Nebraska won the 2006 and 2007 titles. WVU previously won three straight conference tournaments from 1998-2000.

Senior Nicco Campriani swept all three individual awards for the second consecutive season. His raw air rifle and smallbore scores of 597 (99, 100, 99, 100, 100, 99) and 591 (200 prone, 194 standing, 197 kneeling), respectively, gave the Florence, Italy, native a winning 1188 aggregate total. Additionally, he finished first in air rifle today with a final score of 700.5 (591 relay, 103.5 finals), and won the smallbore title yesterday with a score of 690.4.

WVU swept the top three combined score spots, as sophomore Petra Zublasing placed second with a score of 1175 (594 air, 581 smallbore) and senior Andy Lamson shot a season-high 1174 (587 air, 587 smallbore) and finished third. Additionally, senior Brandi Eskew scored 1167 (584 air, 583 smallbore) to finish in eighth place, while junior Justin Pentz shot a combined 1166 (588 air, 578 smallbore) and placed ninth.

Zublasing finished behind Campriani in air rifle with a final score of 697.6 (594 relay, 103.6 finals).

Though they did not shoot in the finals, Pentz and senior Tommy Santelli both had strong days and shot 588, good enough for a 10th-place tie. Additionally, Lamson shot 587 and finished in 14th place.

Campriani, Zublasing, Pentz, Santelli and Lamson combined for the Mountaineers' winning air rifle score.

The Mountaineers now break from action for two weeks before shooting for their nation-best 15th national title at the 2011 NCAA Championships, to be held March 11-12, in Columbus, Ga., at the Frank G. Lumpkin Jr. Center on the Columbus State campus and the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning.

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