The 2018 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships were held March 24-25 at Ft. Benning, home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (AMU), in Columbus, GA. Student-athletes on collegiate club teams compete in air rifle and smallbore rifle to determine the National Collegiate Individual and Team Champions.
Intercollegiate matches are open to individuals and teams whose members represent any one college, junior college or university.
“The shooters that compete here at the collegiate level represent the future of the shooting sports,” said Victoria Croft, NRA collegiate programs manager and also the match director. “We aim to give them the best championship event possible every year.”
And now, here are six things you might not know about this match.
1) The championship is now in its ninth year, making it the youngest NRA championship. The match was first held at Purdue University in 2010.
2) Qualifications for a championship invitation are determined from scores fired in the Intercollegiate Rifle Sectionals held during the months of January and February each year. Teams that meet the minimum qualifying scores in these matches are invited to participate.
3) This year, 17 schools were represented by student-athletes at the championship. Competitors hailed from the following schools: Canisius College, Clemson University, Georgia Military College, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, New Mexico Tech., North Dakota State University, Oregon State University, Purdue University, University of Akron, University of Michigan, University of New Mexico, Kankakee Community College, Quincy University, Emporia State University, and the University of Virginia.
Group photo before an instructional clinic by the AMU.
4) For the last four years, the AMU has generously hosted the match at their Pool Range Complex at Ft. Benning. Featuring SIUS electronic targets and multiple indoor and outdoor ranges designed for air gun and smallbore shooting, the venue is ideal for this type of competition. Additionally, there are a few new buildings for clinics and other instructional classes that are conducted with the full support of the AMU.
5) There were 82 competitors that participated in this year’s event. Since these student-athletes are on club teams and not NCAA teams, the amount of official support they receive differs from school to school. Many teams hold fundraisers to raise money to attend the championship.
The championships attract competitors and schools nationwide.
6) The school that has won the most Intercollegiate Rifle Club National Team Championships is the University of Michigan. Their highest scoring year was 2012, when they posted 4457 points. In addition, Michigan won an impressive four consecutive team air rifle titles from 2013-2016.
Read these six facts about the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships.