WVU Rifle Holds Open House to Celebrate Successful Year
The West Virginia University rifle team held an open house on Tuesday to celebrate a successful year by teaching their fans to shoot.
WVU Rifle won its fifth consecutive NCAA championship this season, which is its 19th win overall. Two freshmen on the team, Morgan Phillips and Milica Babic, won both individual NCAA titles.
The team also won its eighth consecutive Great American Rifle Conference Championships. They finished the season undefeated.
Fans young and old flocked to the WVU rifle range in Morgantown to take turns receiving one-on-one instruction from the student athletes on shooting.
"You've got to shoot one more. You can't ever leave the range on a nine," Will Anti, a sophomore on the team, told Claire Price, a 15-year-old fan from Morgantown who said the student athletes are her "idols."
Coach Jon Hammond said that while the rifle team enjoys strong support from the state, the rules of the sport itself are not well known even to fans. Hammond hoped that the celebratory open house could help change that.
"Even in West Virginia where we have such a community and culture of the outdoors and different types of rifle shooting and hunting, I think people are not sure exactly what we do," Hammond said. "So it's just a great opportunity for the fans and spectators to come in and meet the team but also try the sport and shoot a little bit as well."