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2015 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship

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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
                                                                                                                                    
  Team SBR AIR AGG
Winner WVU 2116 2247 4363
2nd Clemson 2099 2252 4351
3rd Michigan 2080 2268 4348
  Purdue 2058 2176 4234
  Penn State 2084 2124 4208
  Wisconsin-Oshkosh 2047 2100 4147
  Georgia Military-ROTC 1937 2145 4082


INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIP
                                                                                                                                                                                             
  Competitor and School SBR AIR AGG
Winner Madeleine Godwin—Thomas Nelson C.C. 565 588 1153
2nd Rachel Mangen—Clemson 561 576 1137
3rd Cory Miller—Central New Mexico C.C. 554 581 1135
  Georgia Yarbrough—Central Piedmont C.C. 551 578 1129
  Wade Stroda—Kansas State 562 562 1124
  Aaron Ward—Michigan 548 568 1116

*Bold denotes high score.

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