Rifle places third at NCAA Championships

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    The TCU rifle team’s goal of repeating at the NCAA Championships on March 8 and 9 was cut short on the final day by West Virginia.

    TCU finished third with an aggregate score of 4,664, shooting a 2,347 in air rifle and combined smallbore score. West Virginia, the eventual National Champions, shot a team score of 2,363 in air rifle. Combined with the smallbore score, West Virginia took the championship with a final tally of 4,679. 

    Megan Lee, Catherine Green and Caitlin Morrissey opened the first relay for the Frogs and posted three scores of 582, 587 and 583, respectively. Green shot a perfect 100 in her final string of shots to post a 587, while Lee fired four strings of 97 and one each of 96 and 98. Morrissey built on each string en route to her 583.

    Sarah Scherer and Sarah Beard were not enough to overcome West Virginia in the final relay. Scherer fired two perfect strings of 100 on the way to a final tally of 591. Beard shot a 586 in her final collegiate match.

    The Mountaineers Garrett Spurgeon (589), Maren Prediger (591) and Meelis Kiisk (585) helped build a lead along with Petra Zublasing, who shot a 598 in the second relay and won an individual national championship.

    Freshman Hannah Black had a career day on Saturday as an individual. She posted the second-best score in the two relays, firing a career-high 594 (98-99-99-100-98-100). Black earned a spot in the finals and shot a 100.8 for a final score of 694.8 and a fifth place finish.

    Scherer entered the finals in a three-way tie for fourth with her relay score of 591. She tied for the best final round, shooting a 104.3 to boost her score to 695.3. Tied with Jacksonville State's Cole Tucker, the duo had a shoot-off for second place. Scherer hit a 10.5, topping Tucker's 9.8 to finish second.

    TCU is graduating seniors Beard, Morrissey and Scherer, who lost just three matches in their career and just once in the regular season. They had a four-year record of 48-3. In four years, they claimed two National Championships (2010 and 2012) and finished third twice (2011 and 2013).