The Murray State rifle team is on the hunt for its fifth straight OVC Championship and this year they are led by seniors Shelby Huber and Meike Drewell.
Both shooters have remained amongst the best academically for the rifle team and have helped lead the Racers to OVC Championship wins in the last three seasons, making the Racers four-time defending champions.
Huber reigns from Columbus, Georgia, and has been with the Racers all three years of his collegiate career. In high school, Huber made All-State in the 2014-15 season, thanks to having the third-highest state average in the 3×10 event. He was also a member of the state championship team his junior year in high school and placed second in the J2 category at the National Junior Olympic Championship in the 50m three-position air rifle event.
He visited multiple schools before deciding to attend Murray State, but knew that in the end he wanted to be with the Racers.
“I looked at other colleges to shoot at,” Huber said. “I visited the University of Kentucky and then Murray State, and Murray really had that home-away-from-home feeling that I was looking for.”
In Huber’s three seasons with the Racers, he shot for seven matches in the 2016-17 season, nine matches in the 2017-18 season and for all 14 matches in the 2018-19 season.
Drewell, who is from Austin, Texas, also had plenty of success shooting in high school. She was the top shooter in Texas in smallbore and three-position air rifle in 2015, while also coming in fourth in state air rifle in the NRA Junior Sectionals.
As a member of Buckhorn Shooting Club, Austin Rifle Club and Travis County 4-H Shooting Sports, Drewell couldn’t imagine doing anything other than shooting and chose to attend Murray State to continue doing so.
“I chose Murray State because it provides great opportunities in both rifle and my academic field,” Drewell said. “I love competing in rifle because I enjoy the challenge of executing every shot perfectly and up to my standard.”
Drewell’s career highs while shooting at Murray State are some of the best in the program, as she has shot a 587 two times in smallbore competition, had an air rifle score of 594 as well as an aggregate score of 1179.
Outside of the range, Huber and Drewell have succeeded in the classroom. Both are two-time CRCA Scholastic All-Americans. Huber was named to the OVC Honor Roll in 2016-17 and 2017-18, while Drewell is a two-time OVC Medal of Honor winner. Thanks to her 4.0 GPA, Drewell also received the Elite 90 award last season, which is given to the student-athlete who has excelled in their sport and the classroom.
Head Coach Alan Lollar expects success all around when it comes to his student-athletes and Huber and Drewell are doing just that.
“Coach has a concept we call the ‘Murray State Way,’ it means doing everything with excellence, both on and off the range,” Drewell said. “I want to be as well prepared as possible, and I am looking forward to practically applying what I learn in class.”
Just like they do in the classroom, the senior pair has stepped into leadership roles sharing captain duties for the team. Using their new leadership roles along with other things they have learned, the two seniors have united the team to achieve one goal for the Racers.
“In an individual sport, it can be easy to isolate yourself, but being on a team and competing alongside each other is another reason why I love this sport,” Drewell said. “We’re all working toward the same goal, a championship, and encouraging each other to get better every day.”
As they set their sights on a fifth-straight OVC Championship title, the seniors hope to show the rest of the team how to accomplish its goals.
“As a leader it is important to lead by example,” Drewell said. “Knowing that my actions are setting the standard for the rest of the team pushes me to handle each situation and each shot the way I would advise them to. It pushes me to walk the talk every day. Setting a positive example for the others and passing on that legacy is important because they will be the ones leading in the future.”
The Racers will face off against Ohio State University on Saturday, Nov. 2, in Columbus, Ohio, to try and best the Buckeyes and continue the push toward their season goals.