Alaska wins eighth NCAA rifle title in past nine years

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- The Alaska Nanooks claimed their eighth NCAA rifle championship in the past nine years Saturday with an air rifle victory over second-place Army.

The Nanooks, with 4,662 points overall, dominated the air rifle match, outscoring Army by 17 points.

Strong performances by seniors Matthias Dierolf and Christian Lejon, with 591 and 590 points respectively, led Alaska to victory.

The battle for second place was a close-knit three-way contest between Army, Kentucky, and Jacksonville. Jacksonville finished second in air rifle, with 2,348 points, as Kentucky and Army tied with 2,337. Army's strong showing in the smallbore match allowed them take second place overall, with 4,644 points. Jacksonville held out for third, with 4,639 points, and Kentucky took fourth, with 4,636.

The individual air rifle champion final was made up of the top eight shooters from the team relays, adding to their original scores. Jacksonville's Michael Dickinson shot 100.2 in the final to claim the title with a total score of 692.2. In second place was Alaska's Dierolf, who added 100.4 to bring his score to 691.4. Army's Christopher Abalo rounded out the top three, with 103.2 and 691.2, respectively.

This was the first NCAA rifle tournament held in the state. Nearly 1,000 fans watched the Nanooks round out an undefeated season.