Rifle Second After Smallbore

West Virginia's shooters may have shown a few of the nerves that many competitors exhibit in the national championship arena, but the Mountaineers' first day smallbore score of 2316 leaves them just one point out of first place as they try to win their fifteenth title.

Three of WVU's four counting shooters in the smallbore team event shot at or near their season low scores, but even those results didn't put them in too deep of a hole at the conclusion of the first day. Petra Zublasing (589) Garret Spurgeon (576) and Meelis Kiisk (575) were all well below their season averages. Combined, the trio was 16 points below their typical smallbore performance. Only Maren Prediger (576) bested her season mark, and she did so in spectacular fashion beating her previous career high by six points.

All told, the team performance of 2316 was the team's lowest of the season, but that was the worst news of the day. The good news is that the Mountaineers are still squarely in the hunt for the tean national championship, as they are tied with Alaska at 2316 and trail TCU by just one point going into Saturday's air rifle competition. Kentucky stands just one point behind WVU at 2315, and Air Force is fifth with a smallbore score of 2311.

WVU's Thomas Kyanko, an individual qualifier in smallbore who did not compete as part of the team competition, shot a 580 to qualify alongside Zublasing for the individual smallbore title. Kyanko's score of 580 would have made him the second best smallbore score of the day had he been eligible to compete as part of the team competition. Kyanko and Zulbasing are competing this afternoon as two of ten shooters competing for the individual smallbore national title.

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