Morrill Part of a Bright Future for Wolf Pack Rifle
March 20, 2006
RENO, Nev. -
Written by Jason Duggin, Media Services Student Intern
Cracking jokes with teammates and coaches, Meghann Morrill has the world in the palms of her hands.
Only a sophomore, Morrill has set the bar high for the Wolf Pack rifle team and the nation. Taking second at the Junior Olympics in 2004 and third at USA Nationals, she will be one of the people to beat in the years to come.
This year, she earned All-America honors in both air and small bore rifle and helped the Wolf Pack to fourth-place finish at the 2006 NCAA Championships, but she has her sights set on even bigger prizes in the years to come.
"My goals include going to the Olympics, but first I want to help bring home at least one national championship (to Nevada)," Morrill said.
Born in Texas, she credits her father with teaching her to shoot by taking her hunting. Her family moved to the Reno area and she attended McQueen High School in Reno, Nev.
"I chose Nevada because this program suited me the best," Morrill said. "I met Coach (Harvey) my senior year (of high school) and I really liked him. With Coach, grades come first, and that was important to me."
While a lot of people in her position might find their head swelling, Morrill is quick to acknowledge teammates and coaches in her quest to become the best.
"Ryan (Tanoue) has really helped out, he is a great asset to the team," Morrill said, talking about the team manager who led the Nevada Blue Rifle team to a second-place finish in the NCAA Air Rifle competition in 2005.
So what are her chances at reaching her goals of winning a national championship?
"She is very, very good when the pressure is on," Coach Fred Harvey said. "A lot of shooters are great in practice but don't show up in the match. Meghann practices well, but is even better in competition. She rises to it when it comes to crunch time."
Morrill also earned academic honors as a freshman last year from the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association, maintaining above a 3.2 G.P.A. and earning a varsity letter.
Again she gives credit elsewhere.
"Having a coach who stresses grades is a real benefit to us," Morrill said. "He would rather us miss a practice and study if we need it."
The accolades go both ways on the range.
"Meghann is a wonderful person," Harvey said. "She just keeps getting better."
This is not good news for other schools, but Nevada's tradition of dominance in rifle competition should continue for some time as long as quality people like Meghann Morrill keep reloading the program.