The individual champion was Madeleine Godwin, of Thomas Nelson Community College. Madeleine is planning on practicing hard for the upcoming NRA National Smallbore Championships in Bristol, Indiana this summer.
Members of the winning WVU Rifle Club Team compete in the first air rifle relay. From left to right: Nathan Banta, Nathanial Cimono (wearing WVU Varsity Rifle coach Jon Hammond’s shooting kit), Taylor Renick and Anthony Cali.
The top three winners of the air rifle individual aggregate championship (from left to right): 2nd place Cory Miller, 1st place Madeleine Godwin and 3rd place (also 2014’s individual winner) Georgia Yarbrough.
The West Virginia University Rifle Club team had a roller coaster ride of a match during their first NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship this March. WVU beat a dozen other schools, with a grand aggregate score of 4363, out of a possible 4800. The team was forced to compete without their coach, who was unable to attend.
Earlier in March, WVU's Varsity Rifle team won the NCAA Rifle Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska. The WVU Rifle Program is the winningest one in collegiate shooting history, with 17 total NCAA championships and now their first NRA Intercollegiate Rifle championship.
Clemson University won 2nd place, with 4351 points, The previous champion, the Michigan Wolverines (2010, 2013-2014) had their hopes of a three-peat dashed by the skilled Mountaineer squad, and ended up taking home 3rd place, with a score of 4348.
2014’s overall aggregate winner Georgia Yarbrough competing in the first smallbore relay. This year, Cory Miller was able to overtake Yarbrough by six points, knocking her out of the top three in the process.
Student-athletes from large schools such as Penn State and the University of Michigan competed shoulder-to-shoulder at the championship with lesser-known schools, such as Thomas Nelson Community College. Thomas Nelson’s sole representative at the match, Madeleine Godwin, was individual aggregate champion with a score of 1153, out of 1200 possible points. The race for silver and bronze was extremely tight this year, coming down to only two points. Rachel Mangen of Clemson University placed 2nd with a score of 1137, edging out 3rd place winner Cory Miller of Central New Mexico Community College’s score of 1135.
Regarding the individual champion, Kyle Jillson of NRABlog mentioned that “Madeleine was so in the zone during the final match that she didn't know how well she'd done until a former teammate came up to congratulate her after the final shot.”
"[They] congratulated me and I looked up the score like 'Oh my God I actually did that!'" Godwin explained. "I hadn't taken the time to do the math in my head."
Attendance surged this year to some 80 competitors, up from 51 competitors last year. Earlier this year, American Rifleman reported on the increase in shooting sports participation on college campuses throughout the nation.
Tori Croft, NRA national manager for Collegiate Programs said “This year's championship is the largest we've ever had and we're so excited for all the shooters. Thanks to competitive shooting growing so much at the collegiate level, we added additional relays. More [collegiate] rifle clubs can participate, and Fort Benning has plenty of room to accommodate them.”
2015 NRA INTERCOLLEGIATE RIFLE CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP—FINAL RESULTS