From the vault: Our match report from the 1998 NCAA Rifle Championships, where Norwich University’s Emily Caruso and Xavier University’s Karyn E. Juzuik topped the air rifle and smallbore individual leaderboards. As published in the July 1998 issue of Shooting Sports USA.
Women Shooters Sweep 1998 NCAA Individual Rifle Championships
By Bill Spath
For only the third time in NCAA Rifle Championship history, two women won both the Smallbore and Air Rifle Individual Championships. Karyn E. Juzuik, a junior at Xavier University, edged out Jeff Odor of the University of Wyoming, with an aggregate score of 1169 for the 1998 Smallbore Championship. For Emily Caruso, a sophomore from Norwich University, it came down to center shots in the Air Rifle Championship. Both Caruso and Dan Jordan, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, finished with a score of 393, but Caruso had five more Xs. The championships were again held at Murray State University, in Murray, Kentucky.
MOUNTAINEERS SCORE LUCKY 13TH
It’s “maybe next year” again for everyone else, after the Mountaineers of West Virginia University won their 13th straight NCAA Rifle Championship. The team of Marcos Scrivner, Brian Fuhrman, Ron Nelson, Tal Wilkins and Cory Willis just edged out the University of Alaska-Fairbanks with an aggregate score of 6214 to 6211. The University of Kentucky, which had finished second in 1997, had an aggregate score of 6161 for third place.
NCAA Championships are awarded for the highest scoring individual shooters in smallbore and air rifle, as well as team titles. Team aggregate titles are based on the sum of smallbore and air rifle team scores.
Along with winning the smallbore championship, Juziuk made the first team for the 1998 NRA Collegiate All-American Smallbore and Air Rifle Teams. “Karyn is very focused, she prepares very well and is very cool under pressure,” Allen Joseph, the Xavier rifle team coach said. “She has developed tremendously and I’m very pleased with how much she’s accomplished. She was shooting 1120, maybe a 1130 when she first came here, but each year her average has increased.”
The Livonia, Michigan, native was pleased and a little surprised that her championship came in smallbore. “I really thought air rifle was my forte, but this year I really pushed smallbore,” Juzuik said. “I never even checked the scores. It wasn’t until I started the air rifle match that my mom and teammates told me I had won the first relay.”
Juziuk, a biology major, will be a senior next year. Right now, she is looking over her options between graduate school and continuing her shooting career. “I’m going to have to weigh my options and see what is best for me,” she said. Juziuk competes with an Anschutz 1807 in smallbore and uses Eley Tenex ammunition. She uses a Feinwerkbau 601 in air rifle competition.
“I knew I had a shot, but I wasn’t counting on it. I knew it would be very competitive.” —Emily Caruso
A sophomore majoring in psychology, Caruso seemed very reluctant to talk about her winning the individual air rifle championship. “I was struggling that day, but came through,” she said. “I knew I had a shot, but I wasn’t counting on it. I knew it would be very competitive.” Mike Hourigan, Norwich rifle coach, told a different story. “She’s very modest,” he explained. “Emily set some serious goals for herself and she came through. She was mad when she left the line because she only shot a 393.”
Norwich was the knew it would be only Division III school at the 1998 NCAA Championships and Caruso is a non-scholarship athlete. “First and foremost, Emily is a student,” Hourigan said. “She takes a full-load every semester and is on the Dean’s list.” Caruso was a first team selection to the 1998 NRA Collegiate All-American Air Rifle Team and made the second team for smallbore rifle.
The 20-year-old native of Fairfield, Connecticut, competes with a Feinwerkbau 601 in air rifle. For smallbore, Caruso competes with an Anschutz Super Match 2007 loaded with Eley Tenex ammunition.
In the team competition, smallbore was fired first and Alaska-Fairbanks scored a 4676 to top the defending champions from West Virginia, 4668. Alaska-Fairbanks faltered in air rifle and none of the Mountaineers shot below a 386 in air rifle which helped to secure their win.
To reach the NCAA rifle championships is not easy. Attendance is strictly by invitation only. Shooters must qualify at NCAA-certified competitions. Many of the matches are held in conjunction with NRA collegiate sectional matches. For individual qualification, shooter’s scores must represent a minimum of 120 shots for smallbore or 40 shots for air rifle. Four-person teams qualify on the basis of their scores in team matches at NCAA-certified competitions.
NCAA rules and courses of fire are adapted from those of the International Shooting Union (UIT). Smallbore competitors shoot three courses of 40 shots each from the prone, standing and kneeling positions. The maximum score is 1200 points for smallbore. Air rifle shooters fire their three 40-shot courses standing for a maximum score of 400 points. Distances at the NCAA championships are 50 feet for smallbore and 10 meters for air rifle.
1998 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
NATIONAL RIFLE TEAM AGGREGATE
- West Virginia University, 6214
- University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 6211
- University of Kentucky, 6161
- University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 4676
- West Virginia University, 4658
- University of Kentucky, 4635
- West Virginia University, 1556
- University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 1535
- University of Kentucky, 1526
- Karyn Juziuk, Xavier University, 1169-63
- Jeff Odor, University of Wyoming, 1167-74
- Ron Nelson, West Virginia University, 1167-76
- Emily Caruso, Norwich University, 393-30
- Dan Jordan, University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 393-25
- Kelly Mansfield, University Alaska-Fairbanks, 392-25