OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss rifle freshman Alison Weisz maintained one of her goals this year was to set the school record in air rifle. Weisz came close at Memphis, and now she will have two more chances after learning Thursday that she had qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual in air rifle.
Weisz became the first freshman in program history and the third straight Rebel to qualify for the NCAA Championships as an individual. Senior Abbey Stanec qualified the past two years in air rifle and last year in both smallbore and air rifle.
“We are so proud of Ali. She has worked hard for us all year, and I am glad she has the opportunity to represent Ole Miss at the highest level,” head coach Valerie Boothe said. “This will be a great experience for her not only to cap her freshman season, but to gain some momentum heading into next year.”
The Montana native was surprised to learn that she had stamped her named in the history books at Ole Miss.
“I can honestly say, I had no idea I was the first freshman to qualify for the NCAAs,” Weisz said. “It’s definitely really exciting to be the first. I am looking forward to being able to go and experience the competition. It’s going to be slightly different than anything I’ve ever experienced before, but I am very excited.
Weisz said even if she had not qualified for NCAAs, she would have wanted to go on her own just to see what it’s all about.
“If I had not made it, I still wanted to go up and watch, so that way I could get a feel for future championship possibilities,” Weisz said. “But to go and actually compete is an honor. I am sure I will be a little nervous, but I can’t wait. It will be fun.”
Weisz leads the team with a 586.4 average in air rifle, and owns a season-best 594 in leading the Rebels to a win over NCAA qualifier Memphis. She has steadily improved during the season, posting a 590.5 average in the last six matches.
A total of 48 competitors will compete in the championships, with 40 competitors coming from the team rosters submitted by the eight teams selected Wednesday. The remaining eight competitors were selected based on the scores submitted from the designated qualifier.
Hosted by Murray State University, the championships will be held March 14-15 at Pat Spurgin Rifle Range and CFSB Center on the Murray State campus in Murray, Ky.
Weisz and her teammates with host the GARC Championships this weekend at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center. Five of the eight teams who qualified for the NCAA Championships will be competing in Oxford this weekend.
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