UAF NCAA Rifle Championships expected to break attendance record
Aaron Walling / Sun Star Staff Report
Athletes from 15 universities will compete in the NCAA Division I Rifle Championships Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, at the E.F. Horton Rifle Range and the UAF Patty Center.
This marks the 26th consecutive appearance the No. 2 ranked UAF rifle team will make in the NCAA championships, which they hosted and won in 2007.
In 2007, UAF set the record with more than 1,000 people showing up for the championship, the most in event history. Typically, 50 to 200 people attend the NCAA Rifle Championships.
“We started the modern era of the rifle championship, so it’s nice to get it back and it’s a huge thing for the community. Everybody got involved, 1,000 people there and I think we can top that this time,” Dan Jordan, rifle head coach, told the UAF Cornerstone last year.
UAF aims to dethrone the reigning champs, No. 1 ranked West Virginia, who have won the previous two years. The Nanooks have lost to WV twice this season, winning once last month by one shot, 4706-4705. West Virginia holds the record with 16 NCAA championships, including 10 wins from 1988-1998, interrupted by UAF in 1994.
The Nanooks have won 10 NCAA championships, going on a similar streak from 1999-2008 winning 9 times and losing once. Also competing is No. 6 ranked Texas Christian University who beat UAF earlier this season and No. 5 ranked University of Kentucky who UAF bested in the regular season.
Friday’s smallbore individual and team competitions will take place in the E.F. Horton Rifle Range between 7:15 a.m. and 8 p.m., and Saturday’s air rifle individual and team competitions will go from 7:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Patty Center. The scoring for the smallbore three-position will be held on March 13, and the air rifle section will be March 14.
UAF hosts first FanFest event
Informative booths, interactive displays and ice sculptures will help celebrate UAF’s FanFest on the first day of the NCAA rifle championships, Friday from noon to 8 p.m. Some rifle team student-athletes will help run displays and interact with fans. The first 750 people to show up to FanFest will get a commemorative pin, engraved with NCAA Championship logo. Also, 2012 Olympic gold medalist for women’s rifle threeposition and former Nanook shooter, Jamie Corkish, will have a meet and greet.
The NCAA Rifle Championships Banquet will take place on Thursday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel downtown. Pat Pitney, former 1986 gold medal winner for air rifle, and budget director for Governor Bill Walker will speak. The NCAA’s Elite-89 award will be presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the NCAA Rifle Championships. Tickets are available online for $32
If you go:
What: 1. Smallbore event
2. Air Rifle event
When: 1. Friday, 7:15 a.m – 8p.m.
2. Saturday, 7:15 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: UAF, E.F. Horton Rifle Range and Patty Center
Tickets -$11.75 for youth, 3-17, and military
$13.75 for adults
Here are the teams that qualified for the Smallbore Three-Position and Air Rifle according to the NCAA:
#1 West Virginia
#2 University of Alaska
#3 Jacksonville State University
#4 University of Nebraska, Lincoln
#5 University of Kentucky
#6 Texas Christian University
#7 Air Force
#8 Murray State
The individual qualifiers for Air Rifle:
Emily Capaul, University of Nevada, Reno
Matthew Chezem, University of Akron
The individual qualifiers for Smallbore Three-Position:
Max Burkhardt, University of Memphis
Daniel Jonas, U.S. Naval Academy
Remington Lyman, The Ohio State University
Alison Weisz, University of Mississippi
Individual qualifiers for both Smallbore Three-Position and Air Rifle:
Drew Cheezum, The Ohio State University
Dacotah Faught, University of Tennessee at Martin