Ever since Jamie Hall announced the Ladies on Target fundraising event this past summer, I couldn’t wait to spend an evening with fellow female Mountaineer fans and the 19-time NCAA National Rifle Champs.
The event, hosted by the WVU Mountaineer Athletic Club (MAC), was just the catharsis I needed. I was also looking forward to meeting U.S. Gold Medalist Ginny Thrasher.
I knew Jamie, director of donor relations and special events for the MAC, would make it as fantastic of an experience as the football and basketball programs for women.
“With the Ladies Huddle and Basketball Ladies growing each year, Coach Jon Hammond approached the Mountaineer Athletic Club about having a similar event with the rifle team,” said Jamie. “It was a no brainer. The rifle program has such a proud and successful tradition, and we just knew our passionate, female Mountaineer fans would have the interest.”
I was among 39 other women who participated in the event, which started with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction.
Next, we went to the rifle range where we met the coach and student athletes, and shot an air rifle with instruction from a team member.
The top 5 shooters – which included yours truly – were then brought up to compete. After getting some pointers from freshman rifle team member David Koenders of Germany, I shot my way to second place.
I felt pretty proud of myself because I only lost by three-tenths of a point. And I had the highest score overall – 10.6 – on one of the shots.
Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice dinner and a Q & A with the rifle team.
The event raised more than $10,000 for the WVU Rifle team’s Mobile Rifle Range, thanks to the presenting sponsorship of Civil & Engineering Consultants, registrations and auction bids.
In August, during the Ladies Huddle event at Mountaineer Field, the MAC Women Supporting Athletics also voted to direct $20,000 toward the Mobile Rifle Range.
With the support of generous Mountaineer fans, the rifle team is well on their way to purchasing the mobile range, which will allow them to set up a fully functioning rifle range in multiple arenas. It will also double the size of their current facility and allow a larger number of spectators.
“We are so proud to have the most amazing and generous fans,” Jamie said. “All of the women are truly making a difference for WVU Athletics and in the lives of our student athletes.”
If you’d like to donate or learn more about the Mobile Rifle Range project, go to give.wvu.edu/MMR.
Photo credits go to Carrie Leigh Photography LLC.
2017 WVU Rifle Team: (Front row: Coach Jon Hammond, Jack Anderson, Morgan Phillips, Ginny Thrasher and Elizabeth Gratz. Second row: Graduate assistant Soren Butler, David Koenders, Noah Barker, Milica Babic, Sarah Osborne and Will Anti.)
First place winner Kathy Kruger
Emily Lyons and Ginny