Huskers Finish Fifth in NCAA Championships

<?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?>Fairbanks, Alaska ? The Nebraska rifle team wrapped up its sixth appearance in the NCAA Championship tournament with a fifth-place finish at the Patty Center Gymnasium in Fairbanks, Alaska, on Saturday, March 10.


The Huskers got off to a rough start in smallbore on Friday, shooting a score of 2,287 for sixth place heading into the air rifle competition. Junior Kirsten Weiss led NU's efforts with a score of 580. 


Nebraska gained ground in the air rifle competition, shooting a score of 2,336 to place fifth in the championships.  Weiss and senior Kristina Fehlings each shot a score of 587 for the Huskers. 


"We went in to the NCAA Championship sitting fifth and we came out fifth," Nebraska Coach Launi Meili said.  "We just came up short.  Some things worked out, but we also need to work on new things."


The undefeated Alaska-Fairbanks rifle team captured the NCAA title for the ninth time, while Army finished second. 


The Huskers closed the season with an outstanding  tournament record of 8-4, in addition to placing third in the 2007 GARC Championships and fourth in the NCAA Championships.


"I am so proud of the girls," Meili said.  "They certainly didn't leave any points on the range.  They did their best."

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The National Rifle Association also announced their All-American smallbore and air rifle teams after the NCAA Championships.  Junior Kirsten Weiss earned first-team honors in smallbore, while seniors Kristina Fehlings and Stacy Underwood earned second-team honors in both air rifle and smallbore. 


The NRA All-American selection is based not only on marksmanship skill, but also on grade point average, coaches' recommendations and leadership qualities   All-America teams for the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association will be announced in the coming weeks.