Elizabeth Marsh capped off a great day for Texas Christian University (TCU) at the 2019 NCAA Rifle Championships in Morgantown, WV, on the campus of West Virginia University (WVU) on Friday, March 8. The sophomore dominated the competition the first day, helping TCU secure the smallbore team championship. Subsequently, Marsh kept her cool during the final—landing the individual NCAA smallbore title after a thrilling finish.
Her best position during the smallbore individual championship was prone, shooting a perfect 200 score. Marsh went into the final with a field-leading individual aggregate score of 588-35X.
Texas Christian University's Elizabeth Marsh, 2019 NCAA smallbore rifle champion.
For Marsh, it came down to the last two shots of the finals. The University of Akron's Andre Gross held a slim half-point lead, but Marsh fired 10.2 and 10.6 back-to-back to win the championship, triumphing over Gross 456.9-454.8.
She joins Sarah Scherer as the only TCU shooters to win a NCAA individual rifle title.
The smallbore runner-up is the aforementioned Andre Gross of the Akron Zips, who entered the final with a score of 586-33X. The freshman and Marsh were shooting neck and neck, but Gross came up just short in the final, leaving with a score of 454.8.
The only other time Akron has sent a shooter to the NCAA Rifle Championships was in 2015 when Matt Chezem shot air rifle.
In third place was host school WVU's David Koenders. Koenders, a redshirt freshman, entered the top spot during the final multiple times but could not keep up with Marsh and Gross. He finished the aggregate with a score of 586-30X, scoring 444.8 in the final.
Last year's smallbore rifle winner, WVU shooter Morgan Phillips finished seventh with a final score of 402.3.
In NCAA smallbore 3-position rifle, shooters fire in prone, standing and kneeling positions at targets 50 feet downrange. The bullseye is tiny, about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Student-athletes shoot free rifles with metallic sights (no magnification) that can weigh no more than 17.6 pounds. The course-of-fire is 20 shots for each of the three positions for a possible perfect score of 600. After a 15-minute prep period, shooters have 120 minutes to complete each relay.