Shots of the shots and the shooters who shot them

NCAA Rifle competitors shoot from the standing position at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska - All that's left for Day One at the 2015 NCAA Rifle Championships is the crowning of the champ. That should take place in about an hour or so. By then, the eight individuals who fired the highest scores of the day will gather once again to fire for the 2015 smallbore crown.

But those eight only represent a fraction of those who took to the range today. 17% to be exact as 47 shooters took to the line and fired away. So with a bit more success than others, some with a malfunction or two, and some that just couldn't bring the magic.

See shots from Day One of the NCAA Rifle Championships in Fairbanks ...

University of West Virginia feeling March Madness in frigid Fairbanks

Prone shooters at the NCAA Rifle Championships

Fairbanks, Alaska - In a move reminiscent of their 2014 national rifle title run, the West Virginia Mountaineers head into the final relay of the NCAA Smallbore Rifle Championships with a ten 10 point lead. It's a comfortable lead considering that West Virginia and the teams nipping at their heels - Nebraska and Texas Christian University - each have one competitor left to fire.

"Ten points is a lot to make up with one shooter," said one official. "It can happen, but I wouldn't hold my breath."

More on the third round of the NCAA Smallbore Rifle Championships ...

Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray shares preparation secrets at Smallbore Championshipos

Fairbanks, Alaska - Olympic Gold Medal winner Jamie Gray meets with fans at the 2015 NCAA Rifle Championships in Alaska As the second relay of the day comes to a close, Murray State’s Ben Estes has all but guaranteed a spot in the 2015 NCAA Smallbore Rifle Finals. Also in the all but guaranteed group is Ryan Anderson of Alaska and Rachel Martin of Nebraska.

Though their first round scores are impressive, they are by no means an indication of how these competitors will perform in the finals.

“You need to be prepared for the finals like it’s a whole new match,” explained Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Gray. “It’s more difficult for those who shot in the first relay because by the time the finals start it’s almost 12 hours since you shot. That’s a lot of down time.”

Gray, a University of Alaska alum and two time Olympian (Gold at the 2012 Games in London), was kind enough to explain the process between earning a spot in the finals and actually competing in the finals.

As she explained, competitors have a number of approaches when it comes to dealing with down time. Some sit in the stands to encourage teammates, some catch up on homework, some nap, some eat, and some just hang out. But according to Gray, the main things you need to do is plan.

More on how to prepare for the NCAA Finals ...

Top eight scores of the day to shoot for the national smallbore rifle title

Phillips and Anderson taking aim at NCAA Rifle Championships in Alaska

Fairbanks, Alaska - Competitors depart the University of Alaska’s Patty Center range covered in smiles, frowns, and stares as blank as the scores on their sheets. Transfixed on the targets resting silently down range, they’re left to wonder what happened.

An entire season lurched to an end in the blink of an eye. Left to ask, “what was I thinking? What gust of wind or trick of fate took hold when the trigger was pulled.” Pulled that fateful time when the shot left as a ten and landed as an eight.

More on the first round of the NCAA Smallbore Rifle Championships ...

Competitors begin their quest for the 2015 NCAA Rifle Championships

Flying into Fairbanks, Alaska for the NCAA Rifle Championships

Fairbanks, Alaksa - I’ve been 30,000 feet over Alaska for about two hours now. One more and we’re on the ground in Fairbanks. My first time in 49th State.

A quick glance outside a properly scuffed Alaska Air 737 window reveals towering mountains sprinkled with snow. Tiny specs of gray and green poke their way through the white blankets in a gasping effort to bake in the seldom seen sun.

More on the road to the NCAA Rifle Championships ...

Huskers rifle team shooting for first in NCAA National Championships

The all-female Nebraska Rifle Team
The University of Nebraska's Rifle Team.

Lincoln, Nebraska - While most college fans are gearing up for a run at the hardwood, a carefully selected handful of college teams are readying for another championship - the Rifle Championship.

Taking place at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' E.F. Horton Rifle Range and Patty Center, the Elite Eight is made of teams from schools such as West Virginia, Kentucky, TCU, and the University of Nebraska.

More on Nebraska's bid for the NCAA Championships ...

From The Shooting Wire - Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit (CCMU) cadet takes Most Accurate Shooter

Cadet Zach Williams of Weatherford, TexasCorpus Christi, Texas - At the Pirates of Texas Carbine Championship, Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit commander, Cadet Zach Williams '16 of Weatherford, Texas was awarded one of the matches most coveted prizes: The Most Accurate Shooter Award.

Cadet Williams, using an Adams Arms COR rifle that was provided to CCMU by Adams Arms as a team sponsor, fired the entire seven stage match and was only an amazing 7 points down at the end of the last stage. More amazing is that Cadet Williams fired his match fast enough to also placed 4th in Limited Division (the largest in the match), and 9th overall among all 128 shooters in all divisions.

More on Williams performance at the Pirates of Texas Carbine Championship ...

National Manager Croft to explain how shooters earn scholarships at PA Farm Show Complex

Texas Christian wins NCAA 2012 Rifle Championships at Ohio State University

Fairfax, Virginia - Folks on their way to Harrisburg this weekend for the Great American Outdoor Show are in store for a treat. Not only are the 650,000 sq. feet of merchandise and services to wade through along with game calling contests and celebrity appearances, but there are also a number of highly informative seminars. Dog Training, Sausage Making, Trick Shooting, and more.

But one of the most tantalizing of seminars lies hidden amongst the others in the opening weekend is Tori Croft’s seminar on Collegiate Shooting Opportunities at 5:00 on Saturday the 7th.

More on the Collegiate Scholarship Opportunities at the Great American Outdoor Show ...

From The Shooting Wire - Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit Announces The Easley "Deadeye" Award

Brig. General Claudius M. Easley

College Station, Texas - The Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit (CCMU), at Texas A&M University, has created a new Trophy to be presented each year at the Scholastic Pistol Program (SPP) Southwest Winter Regional competition in College Station, TX on February 7th, 2015. The trophy will be known as The Easley "Deadeye" Award.

The Easley "Deadeye" Award is named in honor of Brig. General Claudius M. Easley, USA. and will be presented annually to the High-Scoring Service/Senior Military Academy centerfire team at the SPP Southwest Winter Regional.

More on Texas A&M's new marksmanship award ...

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