Nanooks host NCAA rifle championships, hunt for 11th title

Photo by Paul McCarthy Sophomore Tim Sherry shoots at he Patty Center in September 2013.
Photo by Paul McCarthy
Tim Sherry shoots at the Patty Center in September 2013.

Drew Desrosiers

The University of Alaska Fairbanks rifle team will host the NCAA Championships on Friday and Saturday for the first time since 2007. The No. 2-ranked Nanooks are seeking their 11th crown since 1994 and fourth of the past decade.

The championships will be Friday and Saturday, March 13-14, in the  University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Center. Purchase tickets here. Competition statistics can be followed online here, and video is here.

UAF set the all-time attendance record and won its ninth title during the 2007 championship at UAF. The following season, the Nanooks also won the team competition, giving them 10 titles, second on the all-time list.

Sixteen-time and current twice-defending national champion West Virginia is currently ranked No. 1 in the country. The Mountaineers have won three titles since 2009 and are looking for their third straight. Texas Christian University and Kentucky have both won titles in recent years and will be at this year’s championships while Jacksonville State, Murray State, Nebraska and the U.S. Air Force Academy round out the eight teams selected.

Each team selects five individuals for the competition, and UAF has chosen Ryan Anderson, Mats Eriksson, Tim Sherry, Lorelie Stanfield and Sagaen Maddalena as its team to fire the Nanooks to glory.

All five shooters will compete in both the smallbore competition and the air rifle portion of events. The smallbore competition begins on Friday and will last from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., with the individual finals slated from 7-8 p.m. The day is broken up into four relays, with indiviudals from each team shooting throughout the day. The Nanooks will have one shooter during the 8-9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m. -12:30 p.m. and 4:15-6 p.m. slots, as well as two in the 1:30 p.m.-3:15 p.m. slot.

Those shots will all be fired in the E.F. Horton Rifle Range on Friday, as the first ever NCAA Rifle Championship Fanfest will be taking place in the Patty Center gymnasium from noon-8 p.m. during competition.

On Saturday, the air rifle competition will move to the gymnasium, with team relays lasting from 8 a.m.-1:45 p.m., followed by individual finals. Two Nanooks will shoot in the first and third relays (8-9:15 a.m. and 12:30-1:45 p.m.) and one Nanook in the second relay (10:15-11:30 a.m.). Individual finals are set to begin around 2 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony.

In addition to the eight teams in competition, individual qualifiers from Memphis, Ohio State, Mississippi, Tennessee-Martin, Nevada, Akron and the U.S. Naval Academy will vie for individual championships.