By Kyle Jillson | October 26 2012 08:34

West Virginia holds steady as Kentucky leaps Texas Christian University for No. 2 spot

2012 NCAA Air Rifle Champion Petra Zublasing of the West Virginia Mountaineers

After shooting a NCAA-best team score and school record 4717 in its win over No. 10 Memphis last week, West Virginia University has retained their No. 1 ranking in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association poll for the third week. The Mountaineers are now 4-0 and have jumped out to be an early favorite for the 2013 title. But it is still very early in the season. Lots of things can happen between now and March.

West Virginia, which began the year with a preseason rank of No. 3, quickly leapt to the top spot in Week 1 following a then-program-best win over Army - 4709 to 4631. Defending national champions Texas Christian University, who were 2-0, fell back one position in light of West Virginia's impressive victory and a bye week.

The Horned Toads would remain at No. 2 for another week until The University of Kentucky posted a program record of their own, beating No. 4 Army to improve to 3-0 with a 4716; one point shy of West Virginia's NCAA-leading score. The 2011 NCAA champions, Kentucky started the season in third place but, following three matches in eight days, has now bumped Texas Christian.

Despite their excellent starts, it will be impossible for all three teams to finish with undefeated records. West Virginia and Kentucky match up February 2, and Texas Christian meets Kentucky on November 17.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out. With all this exceptional shooting it looks like it'll be another close race for the national championship this March at Ohio State University. All three teams have matches within the next week, so there's plenty of opportunity for more shuffling. We'll be sure to have more updates as the season gets deeper.

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