MORGANTOWN, W.V. — Alaska Nanooks senior JT Schnering ended his collegiate rifle career by placing fourth Saturday in the air rifle final of the NCAA Championships in Morgantown, West Virginia.
The Lathrop High School graduate qualified for the final in the West Virginia University Coliseum by placing eighth with a team-best 593 total during the preliminaries.
The top eight shooters in the prelims advanced to the final.
Schnering compiled a 205.1 total during the final for his best finish in a NCAA tournament.
Texas Christian University freshman Kristen Hemphill won the final with a 248.2 and she gave the Horned Frogs a sweep of the individual national titles. Sophomore teammate Elizabeth Marsh won Friday in the smallbore final with a 456.9 total.
The Nanooks finished their tournament-record 29th straight appearance in the NCAA Championships by tallying a 4,640 total for eighth place overall in the aggregate team standings, which combined smallbore and air rifle results.
The Nanooks have 10 NCAA team championships in their history. Alaska won in 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
“We continued our 29th consecutive showing at the NCAA Championships and we are already planning Alto make it 30 next season,” Nanooks head coach Layne Lewis said Saturday in a University of Alaska Fairbanks news release.
“We are going to have a younger team but we are going to learn and put our best foot forward next season.”
There were nine shooters on the Nanooks roster this season and three were seniors — Schnering; Nathan Taylor, from Coleman, Texas; and redshirt senior Robert Scott, from Belgrade, Montana.
Nanooks sophomore Haley Castillo, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, placed 16th in the NCAA air rifle with a 590 total. Scott came in 31st with a 586.
Kellan McAferty, a freshman from Littlerock, Washington, finished 36th with a 584 and sophomore and Lathrop grad Liam Eberhart placed 42nd with a 579 total.
TCU captured the overall national team championship Saturday with an aggregate total of 4,699. It’s the third team honor for the Horned Frogs, who won in 2010 on their home range in Fort Worth, Texas and in the 2012 NCAA competition at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
The West Virginia Mountaineers, who hold the NCAA record of 19 overall team titles, placed second in this year’s meet with a 4,692 total. The Air Force Academy Falcons claimed third place Saturday with a 4,687.
The Falcons, of Colorado, gained the Patriot Rifle Conference overall title last month in the UAF Patty Center.
The Murray State Racers, of Kentucky, placed fourth overall in the NCAA meet with a 4,677 aggregate total Saturday. The Kentucky Wildcats, last year’s NCAA team champions, came in fifth this year with a 4,665 total.
The Army Black Knights, of West Point, New York, were sixth (4,646) and the Navy Midshipmen, of Annapolis, Maryland, placed seventh with 4,642.
Alaska and Army tied for fifth in the air rifle team standings with 2,351 totals.
Air Force and TCU each led with 2,368 totals but the Falcons won the discipline based on a tiebreaker. West Virginia was third with 2,361 and Murray State placed fourth with 2,357.
Navy was seventh with 2,344 and Kentucky eighth with 2,343.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.