FAIRBANKS - The University of Alaska Fairbanks won the NCAA rifle championship Saturday, the fifth straight for the Nanooks and sixth overall.
UAF set records for smallbore competition and aggregate scores at West Point, N.Y. The Nanooks are now within one championship of tying West Virginia's string of six straight national titles from 1988-1993.
The victory was the first national title for coach Glenn Dubis, who took over following Dave Johnson's two-year stint at UAF. Johnson departed to become coach of the U.S. National Team. Coach Randy Pitney led UAF to titles in 1994, 1999 and 2000.
The team of seniors Matt Emmons and Per Sandberg, junior Karl Olsson and freshman Jamie Beyerle broke its own record by posting an aggregate score of 6,287, two points higher than in 2000 when Emmons was a freshman.
The Nanooks finished 90 points ahead of runner-up Xavier, which posted a score of 6,197. Murray State finished third overall at 6,158 and Nevada was fourth in 6,152.
"Considering the conditions and distractions, I thought we did pretty darn good," Emmons told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.
Emmons and his UAF teammates were shadowed by a CBS film crew from the time they got up through the championship banquet as part of a production about less-than-mainstream sports sanctioned by the NCAA.
"It's great for our sport because we've never had media coverage like that, but it can be a distraction," Emmons said. "It seemed like they were within five feet of me the whole day, but it's good training for the Olympics where the situation is similar."
The Nanooks scored of 4,717 out of a possible 4,800 in the smallbore competition.
Emmons won the individual smallbore competition Friday and led the Nanooks with an 1,184 smallbore score Saturday, one point shy of the record set by UAF's Kelly Mansfield in 1999.
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