Indianapolis, Ind. - The Nebraska rifle team has qualified for the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2010, the NCAA Men's and Women's Rifle Committee announced Wednesday afternoon. Led by first-year Head Coach Stacy Underwood, the Huskers return to the championship field after a two-year absence. Joining Nebraska at the Championships will be West Virginia, Kentucky, TCU, Alaska-Fairbanks, Army, Jacksonville State and Air Force.
The appearance is the ninth in program history and the first as a head coach for Underwood, who took over leadership of the team this season. The program's best finish came in 2006, when the Huskers posted a second-place performance.
The top-eight teams in both the smallbore three-position and air rifle events were selected based on the average of the three highest regular-season scores with no more than one match at any given site. The average of the three highest scores was then added to the aggregate scores from a team's qualifying match to determine the top-eight programs. NU qualified with a combined score of 9,298.67, which breaks down into a top-three scoring average of 4,648.67 and an NCAA Qualifier score of 4,650.
NU's qualification will bring the careers of Husker seniors Janine Dutton and Joyce Kim full-circle. The duo competed at the NCAA Championships as freshmen for the Huskers in 2010, helping Nebraska finish sixth overall. Dutton also qualified as an individual in 2010, firing her way to a sixth-place effort.
The NCAA Championships will be held March 8-9 in Columbus, Ohio at Converse Hall and French Field House. Smallbore and air rifle competition will be split over the two days, with smallbore competing on March 8 and air rifle taking place on March 9.
NCAA Championship Field (Top Eight)
1. West Virginia - 9,432
2. Kentucky - 9,399.33
3. TCU - 9,393
4. Alaska-Fairbanks - 9,338
5. Jacksonville State - 9,330.67
6. Army - 9,329
7. Nebraska - 9,298.67
8. Air Force - 9,284.33