MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The No. 2-seed West Virginia University rifle team stands in third place after the first day of the 2022 NCAA Rifle Championships. The Mountaineers shot a smallbore score of 2343 on Friday afternoon, inside James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio.

“The team fought hard today, and while it wasn’t our best team score we are still right in the match,” WVU coach Jon Hammond said. “This is a difficult match to shoot and that showed across all scores today. We must put today behind us and focus on tomorrow and give it our best effort and see where that puts us at the end of the day.”

West Virginia’s team score was compiled by senior Mary Tucker, senior Malori Brown, junior Molly McGhin and junior Tal Engler.

Tucker produced the best score in the field, with a 592 during the second relay. The Sarasota, Florida, native shot 196 kneeling, 199 prone and 197 standing. She qualified for the finals where she finished with a bronze medal, narrowly missing out on the individual gold medal shootout.

Brown also qualified for the finals, finishing the event just behind Tucker in fourth place. She qualified in a similar fourth-place position after scoring a 589 during her relay. The China Spring, Texas, native scored 199 kneeling, 199 prone and 191 standing.

Entering tomorrow’s air rifle competition, Tucker sits atop the individual leaderboard while Brown is tied for fourth.

“Mary and Malori had a really solid day, both finishing in the top 4 of the match and the final, and I’m proud of their performance and the work they put in, Hammond said. “Mary has lots of experience and showed her class today, but Malori handled the pressure of her first NCAA Championship match well and it should give her a lot of confidence for tomorrow.”

“Mary was so close to making the gold medal shoot-off round but another podium finish as an individual is extremely impressive.”

She was followed by McGhin, who shot a 583 in smallbore. The Griffin, Georgia, native finished with scores of 197 kneeling, 200 prone and 186 standing.

Engler shot a 579 after scoring 190 kneeling, 199 prone and 190 standing while junior Matt Sanchez rounded out the Mountaineer scores with a 578, scoring 196 kneeling, 196 prone and 186 standing.

West Virginia heads into tomorrow’s air rifle relay trailing Alaska-Fairbanks (2349) and Ole Miss (2346). The final day of championship action on Saturday, March 11, will begin at 9:15 a.m. ET.