Collegiate Rifle: Fifth-Straight Appearance For Akron At NCAA Championships

Akron senior Gavin Perkowski represented the Zips as an individual air rifle competitor at the 2024 NCAA Rifle Championships, held in Morgantown, W.Va., March 8-9.

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posted on March 13, 2024
Akron Perkowski 2
At the 2024 NCAA Rifle Championships in Morgantown, W.Va., on March 9, Akron rifle’s Gavin Perkowski finished 28th out of 46 air rifle shooters.
John Parker

Every year the top eight rifle teams are invited to attend the NCAA Rifle Championships. Additionally, the top four smallbore and top four air rifle individuals are invited to compete. As the top-seeded air rifle individual, Akron senior Gavin Perkowski earned the invitation and made the trek to West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va., to represent The University of Akron on Saturday, March 9.

Gavin Perkowski
Gavin Perkowski warms up prior to the start of air rifle relay two at the 2024 NCAA Rifle Championships in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, March 9. (Photo by Newt Engle)

 

At the beginning of the season, we all had a clear vision of steadily increasing our scores focused on peaking at the NCAA Qualifier on Saturday, February 17. With the field packed extremely tight, the team score at the qualifier landed Akron in the 13th slot, denying us the team invitation. However, the 596 out of 600 in air rifle fired by Perkowski was good enough to earn him a berth in the big dance for air rifle.

At the NCAA Rifle Championships the competition was fierce. For example, Elijah Spencer from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks set the pace by firing a perfect 600 in air rifle. Braden Peiser from Kentucky narrowly missed the perfect match with his 599. At this level of competition, it is abundantly clear how much every point matters. At the end of two qualification relays, the top eight individuals are called back to the line for the final. It’s sort of a shot-by-shot, last person standing process. As the air rifle final ended, Gavin Barnick of West Virginia University emerged as the 2024 NCAA air rifle champion. Not quite scoring high enough for the finals, Akron’s Gavin Perkowski finished in the 28th slot out of the 46 competitors. Even though it is not what Perkowski wanted, he is still the No. 28 air rifle NCAA athlete in the United States—quite an admirable accomplishment.

Air rifle firing line
Akron rifle team shooter Gavin Perkowski competing in the second air rifle relay at the 2024 NCAA Rifle Championships in Morgantown, W.Va., on Saturday, March 9.

 

So ends the season for the Akron rifle team. We had many more high points than low points and pretty much re-wrote our record book. All in all, it has been a remarkable season which will be remembered for quite a while. Speaking for Coach O’Mara and me, we could not be prouder of this team.

See the full 2024 NCAA Rifle Championship match scorecard at the NCAA website.

Learn more about the Akron rifle team at gozips.com.

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