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Home | Tag Archives: utep rifle

Tag Archives: utep rifle

UTEP Rifle adds Isabella Rios for 2020-21 Season

Isabella Rios has signed a national letter of intent to attend UTEP and compete with the Miner rifle team starting for the 2020-21 season, head coach Austin Litherland announced Thursday.

“We are very excited to call Isabella Rios a Miner. I know she has the right attitude and work ethic to excel on the range. She is also an excellent student which will make her a wonderful student athlete…”- UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said.

Rios attended Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson High School in San Antonio.

UTEP officials share that Rios was introduced to rifle during her sophomore year and excelled throughout high school. Rios competed with the JROTC team for three years (air rifle), helping the team to numerous victories. She also shot for two years with Helotes 4-H team for two years, competing in smallbore competitions.

As a four-year participant in JROTC, Rios qualified with her team to the Army JROTC Service Championships in back-to-back years, as well as competing with her squad at the CMP National Championships and JROTC All-Service Championships.

Just last year, Rios took first place in the Bexar County Championships, and shot at the 2019 Western Regionals.

Five Members from UTEP Rifle team secure CRCA Scholastic All-American Honors

Five different members of the UTEP rifle team have earned placement on the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) Scholastic All-America list, it was recently announced by the organization.

 Amoret McCartney, Samantha Miller, Morgahn Warner, Jonna Warnken and Jennie Windle were all so distinguished for their efforts in the classroom.

“I’m always very proud of my athletes, but especially when they do well academically,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “They all not only work hard in the range, but also in the classroom. They all know that being a student comes first, and they show that through their grades.”

The quintet also helped the Orange and Blue thrive on the range in 2019-20. UTEP’s average aggregate (4588) tied as the sixth highest in program history. Aiding in that average was the Miners surpassing 4600 in three of the final four matches on the season, including a campaign-high 4610 against Jacksonville State (2/20).

UTEP nearly matched that total after firing a 4608 in the season finale during its NCAA Qualifier match (2/22).

To be eligible for the CRCA Scholastic All-American honors, a student-athlete must hold a 3.20 grade-point average.

UTEP’s CRCA Scholastic All-Americans

Amoret McCartney

Samantha Miller

Morgahn Warner

Jonna Warnken

Jennie Windle

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UTEP Rifle surges past 4600 In NCAA Qualifier

The UTEP rifle team surpassed the 4600 barrier for the third time in the past four matches by recording an aggregate of 4608 in its NCAA Qualifier match with Alaska-Fairbanks (4633) at the UTEP rifle range Saturday. 

“We finished out our season strong,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “Today showed the hard work the team has put into accomplishing our goals. It has been a great season, and I want to thank everyone for all the support we have gotten. Go Miners!”

Freshman Jonna Warnken set a career high with the top aggregate (1172) by all competitors on the range Saturday. The 1172 ties as the fifth-highest score in program history. She shot a career-best 591 in air rifle and came within one point (581) of matching her personal best in smallbore.

Senior Mara Rouse eclipsed 570 in both smallbore (571) and air rifle (586) on the way to shooting her second-best aggregate (1157) on the year. Freshman Amoret McCartney followed at 1140 (566-574), while redshirt-freshman Jennie Windle checked in with an aggregate of 1139. Samantha Miller rounded out the team at 1111.

Morgahn Warner missed the match due to an injury.

UTEP’s aggregate of 4608 marked its second-best score of the second. The Miners also peaked at the proper time, flying past 4600 in three of their final four matches of the campaign.

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UTEP Rifle to host Alaska-Fairbanks In NCAA Qualifier Saturday

The UTEP rifle team will take to the range for the final time of the regular season when it plays host to Alaska-Fairbanks in its NCAA Qualifier match at 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

“This week we have been training hard and keeping our focus on our goals,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “We’ve been making sure our positions are solid and our mental sharpness has an edge. We are also excited to be hosting Alaska for qualifiers this year.”

Freshman Jonna Warnken paces the team in aggregate average (1151), including a squad-best air rifle average (585). Senior Mara Rouse has buoyed her at 1148. Rouse has been the top marksman in smallbore (569)

Another freshman, Amoret McCartney, and sophomore Morgahn Warner share third on the team in aggregate average (1138), while Jennie Windle (1131) and Samantha Miller (1128) have also made their presence felt this year.

The collective effort of the group has resulted in the Miners peaking at the proper time, with UTEP eclipsing 4600 in two of the past three outings.

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UTEP Rifle wraps up action at PRC Championships

FORT WORTH, TexasFreshman Jonna Warnken recorded an aggregate of 1161 to lead the way for the UTEP rifle team over two days of action at the Patriot Rifle Conference Championships on the campus of TCU Saturday and Sunday. She posted squad bests in both smallbore (573) and air rifle (588), helping the Miners finish with an aggregate of 4583 (2264 smallbore, 2319 air rifle).

“This weekend was a long weekend,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “We worked hard for every 10. This week we will hit the range and work on mental (aspects) and positions to tune them to a precise point!”

The Miners’ top three finishers were freshmen.

Freshman Amoret McCartney matched her third-highest aggregate of her career by shooting an 1141. She recorded a 562 in smallbore before equaling her career high in air rifle (579). Redshirt-freshman Jennie Windle checked in with her second-best aggregate (1138) on the year, finishing with 561 in smallbore and 577 in air rifle.

Senior Mara Rouse recorded a 568 in both smallbore and air rifle on the way to tallying a total of 1136. Junior Samantha Miller registered a 550 in smallbore and a 575 in air rifle to wrap up the competition with an aggregate of 1125.

TCU won the title with an aggregate of 4728, followed by Air Force (4681), Ohio State (4669), Alaska-Fairbanks (4639) and UTEP.

UTEP will wrap up the regular season at home with its NCAA Qualifier match at 8:30 a.m. MT on Feb. 22.

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UTEP Rifle Eclipses 4600 For Second Straight Match

The UTEP rifle team (4604) surpassed an aggregate of 4600 for the second straight match while sharing the range with TCU (4702) at the UTEP Rifle Range Saturday.

The Miners shot their third-best scores on the year in both air rifle (2324) and smallbore (2280) to creep past 4600.

“The team came in today with the focus and confidence that we had the previous weekend,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “They worked hard in both disciplines today to get our score. We will keep this motivation going and use it for this week’s training before the Patriot Rifle Conference Championships.”

Freshman Jonna Warnken set the tone for the Orange and Blue by firing an aggregate of 1163. She matched her career high in air rifle (589), while finishing with a squad-best 574 in smallbore. Senior Mara Rouse locked in an aggregate of 1145, using a 576 in air rifle and a 569 in smallbore.

Sophomore Jennie Windle produced a career-high aggregate (1142), aided by a personal-best 564 in smallbore. She added a 578 in air rifle. Freshman Amoret McCartney finished at 1133, with her second-highest smallbore score (572) playing a role. She then recorded 561 in air rifle.

Junior Samantha Miller matched her season high in air rifle (581) on the way to compiling an aggregate of 1130. Sophomore Morgahn Warner tallied an aggregate of 1126 (565 smallbore, 561 air rifle).

UTEP will return to action at the Patriot Rifle Conference Championships February 15-16.

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UTEP Rifle to Host TCU Saturday

Coming off a season-best aggregate (4610) and its first victory of the campaign, the UTEP rifle team will play host to TCU on Saturday.

The match will be held at the UTEP rifle range starting at 7:30 a.m. and admission is free.

“We have worked hard this week on tightening positions and staying focused for this weekend,” UTEP head coach Austin Litherland said. “The team still has confidence from this past weekend’s success. We just need to keep our eyes on the target for this match.”

The Miners surpassed the 4600 mark for the first time on the year in the victory against Jacksonville State, with freshman Jonna Warnken (1165) and senior Mara Rouse (1154) leading the way. UTEP notched a season-best 2331 in air rifle, aided by Rouse’s match-high 589 in air.

Overall on the season Rouse paces the team in aggregate (1149), followed by Warnken (1144) and sophomore Morgahn Warner (1142).

Live results of the match can be found via this link.

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UTEP Rifle defeats Jacksonville State 4610-4602

UTEP Rifle secured its first victory of the season, defeating Jacksonville State, 4610-4602, Sunday morning at the UTEP Rifle Range.

“The team came in today with the right attitude and mental game,” Head coach Austin Litherland said. “We learned from our last match and applied it. I couldn’t be more happy. Having this confidence will help in upcoming matches.”

The Miners broke the 4600 mark for the first time this season behind huge performances from Jonna Warnken (1165) and Mara Rouse (1154). This is the first time UTEP has broken the 4600 barrier since Nov. 15, 2018.

The Orange and Blue posted their best air rifle score (2331) of the season to propel them to victory. Rouse’s aim was true, shooting a match-high 589 in air. Warnken followed with a 588 at the line. Jennie Windle (578) and Samantha Miller (576) both turned in strong air scores .

Windle locked in a career-high 1137 aggregate, helping boost her team’s score today. Amoret McCartney recorded the third highest aggregate (1138) for the team, and Morgahn Warner followed her up with an 1134 total.

Next up, the Miners will compete at home against TCU next Saturday, February 8.

Rouse Leads UTEP Rifle Versus Jacksonville State

The Miners shot 4580 against Jacksonville State (4644) Friday morning at the UTEP Rifle Range.

“We shot around our average today,” Head coach Austin Litherland said. “We learned what we need to do to improve for Sunday. We will reflect on the match today, learn and come back hard with an improved mental game.”

Mara Rouse and Jonna Warnken both turned in 1156 aggregate scores against the Gamecocks. Rouse posted a 569 in smallbore, and locked in a 587 in air rifle. Warnken shot 567 in smallbore, while tallying a team-high 589 in air.

Jennie Windle and Amoret McCartney shot 1132 in front of the home crowd. Windle produced a 572 air score, and McCartney turned in a 563 in smallbore.

Morgahn Warner and Samantha Miller finished the day shooting 1123 and 1122, respectively.

Up next, the Miners will prepare for a rematch against the Gamecocks on Sunday at the UTEP Rifle Range. The match will begin at 9 a.m., and will be free to the public.

UTEP Rifle to host Jacksonville State

The UTEP rifle team will host Jacksonville State for two matches on Friday and Sunday at the UTEP Rifle Range.

“We will be back home this weekend,” Head coach Austin Litherland said. “We have been working hard this week to improve our groups and mental skills for this weekend. We are excited to be shooting with Jacksonville State, and are very please that they are able to come to our range.”

Both matches are free to the public and will begin at 8 a.m. MT. You can follow along with the action with live stats here.

The Miners are coming off of their second-best outing of the season, where they shot a 4594 against Ohio State.

Freshman Jonna Warnken carried the squad versus the Buckeyes, shooting a career-high 1168 in the match. She became the first Miner this season to post a score higher than 580 in smallbore.

Captain Mara Rouse leads the Orange and Blue with an 1149 average aggregate. Morgahn Warner (1142) and Amoret McCartney (1140) both boast aggregates over the 1140 mark this year as well.

Samantha Miller tied her season high with an 1134 outing at Ohio State last weekend. Jennie Windle is pitching in an 1128 average aggregate on the year.

The Gamecocks are coming off of their worst performance of the year, shooting a 4604 versus UT Martin.

UTEP Rifle finishes first meet of Spring Season

COLUMBUS, Ohio – UTEP rifle turned in its second-best performance of the season, posting a 4594 aggregate at Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range on Saturday morning.

“Today was a good day,” Head coach Austin Litherland said. “The girls performed well and we are heading in the right direction. We will hit the range to tune in positions and groups for our home match next weekend.”

The Miners were once again led by the terrific freshman, Jonna Warnken. Warnken picked up where she left off in the fall, registering a career-high 1168 on the day. She posted the second-highest smallbore score (581) of any shooter at the meet, becoming the first UTEP shooter to break the 580 mark in smallbore this year. Warnken also shot a 586 in air to pace the Orange and Blue.

Mara Rouse added an 1146 aggregate to the UTEP score. The senior shot 581 in air, and posted a 565 in smallbore. Amoret McCartney shot the second-best smallbore mark (568) for the Miners, and locked in an 1134 aggregate.

Samantha Miller was solid at the line today, shooting a 580 in air and posting an 1134 aggregate. Jennifer Windle recorded and 1132 final aggregate and Morgahn Warner shot a 552 in smallbore.

Ohio State turned in a 4663 final tally, and Air Force posted a 4655 aggregate.

Next up, the Miners will compete at home against Jacksonville State next Friday, January 31.

UTEP Rifle travels to Ohio State to begin Spring Season

The UTEP rifle team will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State on Saturday, January 25 at 7 a.m. MT at Lt. Hugh W. Wylie Range.

“The team is back and excited for the next half of the season,” Head coach Austin Litherland said. “They have recharged themselves over the winter break and we have been training hard. We are ready to travel up to Ohio State to compete.”

During the last matchup of the fall season the Miners earned their highest aggregate score, 4597, at home against Alaska Fairbanks (11/22).

Freshman Jonna Warnken leads the Orange and Blue with a 581 air rifle average, heading into the spring season.  She posted a season high in air at Air Force (10/26), tallying a 587 mark.

Morgahn Warner and Mara Rouse pace the team in smallbore with an average of 571. Rouse contributed the best performance in smallbore for the Miners with a team high of 579.

Amoret McCartney has the fourth-highest aggregate average on the squad (1140).  Samantha Miller and Jennie Windle follow with averages of 1129 and 1128, respectively.

The Buckeyes are averaging an aggregate of 4648 this season. Ariel Hall boasts a team best 577 in smallbore. Rhiann Travis currently paces Ohio State with an air rifle average of 589.

Fans can follow along with the action with live stats via this website.

Video+Story: Mara Rouse and The Pursuit of Perfection

Imagine taking aim at a target that is no bigger than the size of the period at the end of this sentence. If you can grasp the idea of it then take the next step and let’s do it 120 times in three hours.

In sports there are many ways to be perfect. You can juke one way or another to avoid a defender. You can take the jumper, drive the lane and you can even dish it to your teammate. “Perfection” can be up, down, around, over and even through.

In rifle there is only one way, and that is right down the barrel, perfection sits in the 10-ring 50 feet down range. UTEP’s Mara Rouse and hundreds of other collegiate athletes have been chasing this target for as long as they can remember.

“Always having to be on and always having to be at that level where you are stable, strong and mentally prepared is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do,” Team captain Rouse stated.

Breathing is a big part of the stability that she describes. Taking a breath is something we take for granted in our everyday lives. For Rouse and her teammates it is a pivotal aspect of taking that “Perfect” shot.

A breath held too long or not long enough could spell disaster for their shot, and each shot is so precious. The pace of their inhale and exhale means as much as following through with a swing in golf or setting your feet for a three-point shot in basketball.

The singular act that these athletes are executing daily can weigh heavily on their mental endurance. To cope with this the senior relies on her teammates that stand the line with her.

“I know there are going to be days where I am struggling mentally,” Rouse said. “But I know I can look down the line and see girls who are thriving. It motivates me. I know that if they can do it then so can I. We are one big family. When we are traveling, and I can look down the line and see Orange and Blue. It is absolutely amazing.”

UTEP has lofty goals of making the NCAA meet in March of 2020. Rouse has never competed at nationals, and her goal is to perform on that stage.

“The biggest goal is to go to NCAAs,” Rouse stated. “Our program hasn’t done that since 2012, and so it is time for that gap to close. It is time for us to go to that next level, and put UTEP rifle back on the map.”

The Orange and Blue, along with their team captain will be seeking to earn perfection, and make history for the Miners come the spring.

Video by GECU/UTEP

UTEP Rifle Signs Grace Fernandez

UTEP Rifle inked Grace Fernandez for the 2020 class earlier this week.

The sharp shooter hails from Anchorage, Alaska, where she competed for South Anchorage High School.

Her competitive career was jump-started in her freshman year, after joining her high school’s air rifle team. At the district championship in 2017, the Anchorage native took first individually, and helped her team take second overall.

Fernandez has been a part of the Borealis Bullseye team, which has won state titles in two consecutive years. She won the CMP state championship and took third at the Junior Olympic State Championship in 2019.

The 2020 signee landed a top-10 finish in both 2018 and 2019 at the CMP Regionals, with her squad taking first in 2018. She was a recipient of the 2019 Junior Distinguished Badge, and helped her team maintain a top-10 ranking.

Fernandez has been involved in Alaska’s 4-H program and plans on majoring in biochemistry at UTEP.

For complete coverage of UTEP Rifle, be sure to follow the Miners on social media at @UTEPrifle (Instagram) and @UTEPrifle (Twitter) or visit the official home of UTEP Athletics at

UTEP Rifle turns in season high against Nanooks

The UTEP rifle team shot a season-best 4597, which was led by a career performance from Jonna Warnken (1155) versus Alaska Fairbanks (4647) on Friday afternoon at the UTEP Rifle Range.

“This team has worked hard and didn’t lose focus,” Head coach Austin Litherland said. “They have brought their A-game all semester, and I couldn’t be more proud. Now we can recharge our batteries over the holidays to come back fresh for the spring.”

Warnken posted her best outing in smallbore with a 574 at the line. The freshman turned in a 581 in air to lead the Miners.

UTEP had its best performance of the year with a 2289-smallbore score. The Miners’ previous best (2277) came against the Nanooks earlier in the season.

Amoret McCartney and Mara Rouse both locked in an 1148 aggregate for UTEP.

Jennie Windle also had a career day with an 1137 total score.

The Orange and Blue will now move into 17th place nationally, just behind UT Martin. Next up, UTEP will travel to Ohio State on January 22, 2020.

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