GHSA Air Rifle Competitors Move Up to NCAA Rifle Competition

(data through SY 2018-19)

In 2019 Rosemary Kramer of Georgia Southern University set an NCAA record in air rifle in qualifying for the finals at the NCAA Championship. She fired a 599 out of 600 and then finished third in the finals. She was also 1st team All American. Rosemary was GHSA Champion in 2015 when competing for Upson-Lee High School.

GHSA began three-position air rifle competition in school year 1991-92. Its first competitor to move up to compete in NCAA rifle competition was in SY 1993-94.  

Through SY 2018-19 ninety-one former GHSA three-position air riflery competitors have gone on to compete in NCAA competitions (41 females and 50 males); 16 at military service academies, 29 at other out of state universities, 44 at Georgia universities and two who competed both out of state and then in Georgia.

Most GHSA competitors begin competing in GHSA air rifle with no prior experience in the sport. The NCAA competition is both three-position small bore and standing air rifle. Some of the above gained experience with small bore while in high school but many did not. They had only participated in air rifle. The Georgia high school graduates have transitioned well. The 91 have earned 41All-American honors, one was a NCAA Individual Champion (Beth Tidmore - Woodward Academy to University of Memphis), one was selected for the US National Team and nine to the National Development Team. Three have served as assistant rifle coaches at universities and one as head coach. Another former GHSA competitor was the first to be approved by the NCAA to compete in NCAA competitions as a disabled athlete.

Obviously there have been many GHSA riflery competitors of remarkable skills who chose not to compete in the NCAA. It is interesting that only 26 of the above 91 were GHSA championship medalists (28.6%). They did however earn a total of 36 medals   (16 gold, 9 silver & 11 bronze). Also, only 46 of them (20%) were included in the 228 athletes selected to the high school all-state teams through 2018.

There would probably be even more GHSA graduates competing in the NCAA if Georgia had more universities involved. Only two universities in Georgia compete in NCAA rifle competitions, the University of North Georgia and Georgia Southern University.

Larry Pendergrass

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