NRA recognizes best collegiate rifle shooters following NCAA Rifle Championship

2013 NRA Collegiate All-American First Team Smallbore Rifle

Columbus, Ohio - After West Virginia University finished celebrating their school's historic 15th national title in the NCAA Rifle Championships - or more likely took a break from celebrating - the NRA held its 2013 All-American awards banquet.

Shedding their shooting jackets for a dressier attire, the top collegiate rifle shooters in the country returned to the Ohio State University campus to find out who was this season's best of the best.

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Everyone from this year's NRA Intercollegiate Championships in one place

Collegiate shooters at the NRA Club Championships in Ft. Benning, Georgia

Columbus, Georgia - At some point during each of the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships and NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships, held earlier this month, staff wrangled every shooter and coach together for a group photo.

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Shooters put their John Hancocks on posters before heading home

2013 NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships poster

Columbus, Georgia - Last week's NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships and NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships at Fort Benning, Georgia brought over 150 young shooters together from every corner of the United States.

Aside from the memories they'd take home in the form of photographs and (for some) trophies, Match Director Tori Croft had another great memory-creator to add to the mix - posters.

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A great tradition at the NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships

Bouncing ping poing balls at the NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Fun Shoot

Columbus, Georgia - Think you can toss a kneeling roll into a trash bin from 20 feet away? How about bouncing a couple ping pong balls into a cup? Identify the correct member of the Shooting Hall of Fame? Or shoot a target the size of a golf ball from 20 feet?

What if you did all of these in a row... while being timed... competing against dozens of others.

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University of Akron's Matthew Chezem awarded high shooter title

2013 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Team Champions the University of Michigan

Columbus, Ohio - Absent and unable to defend their national title, the void left by Michigan State University ensured both team and individual champions would be brand new at this year's NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships

But though there were more than enough volunteers to step up and wear the crowns, only a select few shooters out of the dozens present would get the chance.

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Liu's perfect finish pulls Wolverines ahead of Clemson University

University of Michigan's Ying Yi Liu at the 2013 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships

Columbus, Georgia - Today's Air Rifle title at the NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships started out like any other. After their preparation period, 54 shooters looked ten meters down range at their targets and began the 60-shot match. A match that would determine both the team and individual champion.

Competitors received an hour and forty-five minutes to shoot their pellets in six strings of ten shots. Some finished quickly, others took their time.

Clemson University, winners of the 2010 and 2011 Air Rifle titles, posted a 2201 out of 2400 and appeared to be on their way to a third victory, but the match was not quite over.

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Shots from the 2013 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championship's opening salvo at Fort Benning, Georgia

Competitors from the NRA Intercollegiate Air Rifle Championship at Fort Benning, Georgia

Columbus, Georgia - Over 50 shooters from collegiate rifle club teams from across the country convened at the US Army Marksmanship Unit's Pool Complex on Fort Benning this morning to answer a question.

Who among them was best?

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Teams begin hunt for 2013 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships titles at Fort Benning, Georgia

2012 NRA Rifle Club Individual champion Amos Peck of Michigan State University

Columbus, Georgia - Continuing the March madness of collegiate shooting, the 2013 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Club Championships begin this weekend at Fort Benning.

Picking up the excitement right where the the NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships left off, the next few days will determine the new NRA Rifle Club champions.

And they will definitely be new. Like the Pistol Championships missing last year's individual winners, the Rifle Club Championships are without defending champs. In fact, they're without both the team and the individual.

In 2012 the Michigan State rifle team dominated the competition. The Spartans won the team championship by a margin of 96 points and shooter Amos Peck took the individual title by 19. That second place individual shooter, for that matter, was also a member of the Michigan State team.

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Milestone achievement for the winningest team in NCAA Rifle history

2013 NCAA Rifle National Champions West Virginia University

Columbus, Ohio - Four years since their last national rifle championship, West Virginia University is bringing the NCAA Rifle title back to Morgantown.

Starting the day at 2316, the Mountaineers had to separate themselves from the pack. Sitting one point behind defending champions Texas Christian University, West Virginia was tied with the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and one point ahead of the Kentucky Wildcats. There was little breathing room ... if any.

More on West Virginia University winning its 15th NCAA Rifle Championship...

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