Fantastic Freshman

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Alison Weisz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Alison Weisz
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

March 14, 2014

By Gabriel Austin
Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

Ole Miss has received extensive national recognition recently for its beautiful campus among other things, including football, but one little known, highly talented freshman in another sport has written a new page in the history books at the University of Mississippi.
Alison Weisz has been busy solidifying her name in the annuals of Ole Miss rifle.

“I would probably say there are some freshmen out there just as talented, but I think the difference is her drive and motivation,” head coach Valerie Boothe said.

The Belgrade, Mt. native is the first freshman in the history of the rifle team to individually qualify for the NCAA Championships as well as receive All-Conference honors from the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC).    

“It’s really exciting,” Weisz said. “It’s all so surreal. I haven’t quite grasped the fact that I’m in the history books. I can say that it was my goal to make the NCAA Championships, but I never imagined I’d be the first freshman at Ole Miss to do so.”

According to Weisz, her opportunities to shoot in high school were fairly limited because of the lack of structure in her small town.

“We used to shoot in the basement of a sporting goods store then it closed, so we were out of a place. Another place opened. Smallbore was a big challenge, it was only through 4H.  We only got to practice maybe once a week, that was a huge change. I didn’t really have a team, unless they threw some kids together for a team,” Weisz said.

Weisz’ talents have not been suppressed by this; her dedication has always been prevalent. In high school she placed three consecutive years in the junior nationals. In her first collegiate season she led the Rebels in air rifle six times, posting a career high 594 against Memphis, one point from the school record.

Even with her success, Weisz flew under the radar of some of the most successful programs in the country during recruiting. The Great American Rifle Conference is home to the current No. 1 team in the country and has had a team win or place second at the NCAA Championships seven of the last eight years.

“I have to give credit to my assistant coach, Natasha Dinsmore ,” Boothe said, “She met Ali a few times and thought she’d be a good contributor to the team. We got lucky she said yes.”

Weisz is happy she chose to come south and says she has enjoyed her time here so far.

“I owe a lot to both coaches and all of the seniors for what my freshman season has brought me.  They have been very helpful and supportive along the way, on and off the range.  I’ve learned a lot from all of them and hope to do the same for next year’s freshmen class.”

Weisz said she has had to sacrifice a lot of things many other college freshmen are able to take part in, but that rifle is a sort of solace for her. She wouldn’t trade the experiences that she’s gained.

“It’s taken a huge commitment and here I’ve found an even bigger drive and discipline for it,” Weisz said. “I’ve gained more than I’ve lost.
My experience is completely different from every other college student, I would much rather be spending every day at the range than doing something else.”

Even the bulky immobilizing suits that members of the rifle team wear during competition have grown on Weisz. The suits help to stabilize the shooter, but give them a distinct penguin-like waddle.

“It’s kind of like a turtle shell in there,” Weisz said. “Kind of like home, I get a sense of comfort in them.”

Weisz looks to have a good showing her first time competing in the NCAA Championships which started Friday at Murray State University.

“I really want to prove myself,” Weisz said. “I know I already proved myself by qualifying as a freshman, but I want to show off what I’ve learned throughout the season.”

Beyond the championships, Coach Boothe has high expectations, for the already auspicious freshman shooter.

“Shooting wise she’s already very mature. I look for her to continue her success to push her air rifle scores higher than they are today and bring her smallbore score up. I want to see her really emerge as a team leader in a lot of aspects,” Boothe said.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 13-19)

      Monday, October 20, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 13-19, 2014Football- Ole Miss rode its dominant defense to a 34-3 homecoming win over Tennessee on Saturday to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in Southeastern Conference play.- The Rebels are 7-0 for just... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Oct. 19

      Sunday, October 19, 2014 - Athletics

      It's Sunday, so that means it's time for this week's Observations from the Best Seat in the House. There was no shortage of observations surrounding the Homecoming festivities this weekend. Let's get into it:1. When "College GameDay" visits Baton Rouge,... read more

    • Winning Formula for Rebels is No Secret

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      The winning formula revealed itself as it has throughout the season: a dominant defense and a mistake-free offense. The Ole Miss defense forced four turnovers, while the Ole Miss offense did not commit a single turnover in a workmanlike 34-3... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-Tennessee Motivational

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs Tennessee Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Tennessee

      Saturday, October 18, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 3 Ole Miss faces Tennessee for Homecoming on Saturday.'Third Down for What'Tennessee is very dangerous, Ole Miss football head coach Hugh Freeze said, because its talented, particularly if it gets momentum and confidence during... read more

    • SEC Nation Talent Talks Ole Miss on Visit

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from today's media opportunity with SEC Nation host Joe Tessitore and analysts Tim Tebow and Marcus Spears discussing the show's visit to Oxford for the SEC matchup between No. 3 Ole Miss and Tennessee. Tessitore recalls calling the first college... read more

    • What They're Saying: Midseason Honors

      Friday, October 17, 2014 - Football

      At the halfway point of the regular season, Ole Miss is 6-0 for the first time since 1962, when it went 10-0 and earned a share of the national title. It's No. 3 ranking in the national polls is its... read more

    • Rebels Slow Offensive Tempo

      Thursday, October 16, 2014 - Football

      With a dominant defense that ranks among the nation's leaders in most statistical categories, head coach Hugh Freeze acknowledged he has changed his offensive philosophy and play-calling to limit negative plays and quick possessions. Ole Miss averaged the second-most offensive... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 7

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 7 - Texas A&M (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Defense, Tennessee

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Tennessee head coach Butch Jones on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's game in Oxford. For the full SEC teleconference, go here. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze (starts at... read more

    • VIDEO: Studio 18 Live 10.15.14

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Athletics

      read more

    • VIDEO: 'Can't Be Denied' Hype Video

      Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Bo Wallace on The Dan Patrick Show

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Game-Manager Bo

      Tuesday, October 14, 2014 - Football

      Head coach Hugh Freeze admitted the offense played well enough to manage the game and let the defense win it.  Ole Miss leaned on its running game, rushing for 160 yards on 35 carries, while Bo Wallace completed 13-of-19 passes... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Oct. 6-12)

      Monday, October 13, 2014 - Rifle

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewOct. 6-12, 2014Football- The No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels showed they belong among the nation's upper crust with a dominating 35-20 win at No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday.- Ole Miss jumped out to a... read more