While most of the Ole Miss student body is enjoying spring break, likely somewhere on a beach, Ole Miss rifle sophomore Alison Weisz is headed to Fairbanks, Alaska for the NCAA Rifle Championships.
Weisz, a native of Montana, earned a spot in smallbore and is making her second consecutive NCAA appearance after qualifying in air rifle last year. As the first freshman to qualify for the NCAA Championships, Weisz finished 16th in air last year and says she learned a lot from her first appearance.
“I am not going to put as much pressure on myself as I did last year and create really big expectations,” Weisz said. “It’s a really fun match with everyone being there, so I am just going to try and stay a lot calmer and just enjoy it a lot more. It went by too fast last year.”
“I just want Ali to have fun with it,” head coach Valerie Boothe said. “It’s going to be a relaxed environment. It helps that it’s a different gun, so it’s not like she is going to be trying to copy last year’s performance, it will be completely different.”
Weisz led the Rebels this year in smallbore with an average of 573 and set the school record with a 589 at the Withrow Invitational on Jan. 25. She shot a 583 at the NCAA Qualifier in Lexington, Kentucky last month.
This is not the first time for Weisz to travel to Alaska. The team went there her freshman year for a match against UAF and had a chance to experience some fun.
“We went to a natural hot springs and an ice sculpture museum,” Weisz said. “It was a lot of fun to see everything from igloos to musical instruments, made of ice. It was neat.”
Weisz will compete in the final relay Friday at 8:30 p.m. CT at the UAF Patty Center. Not only will her coaches be watching, but her dad will be in attendance to watch her compete for the first time in a collegiate match.
“My dad traveled with me everywhere in high school, but he’s never seen me shoot in college,” Weisz said. “I am really excited for him to be there, especially because he knows when to give me space, and he doesn’t expect me to hang out with him the whole time. He’s just happy to be there.”