Ole Miss Rifle alum Ali Weisz’s dream of becoming a member of the USA Olympic team became a reality last Sunday in Colorado. Weisz qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, which will begin at the end of July.
Weisz came in second place at the 2020 Air Rifle Selection Match with a total score of 2507.7. Her final score combined that from the first competition, which occurred in December, with her newest set of scores, which were recorded from the past weekend. Weisz finished sixth out of an eight-shooter round, ultimately giving her the additional 1.5 points that she needed to qualify.
“I actually didn’t know it was official until after everything was said and done, and the USA Shooting National Rifle coach Dan Durben told me,” Weisz said. “I could have known and followed what scores I needed, but my main goal for the entire match was just to focus on me and what I can control and shoot my match.”
Alongside Weisz in the 2020 USA Shooting Team for air rifle is Mary Tucker, a freshman from the University of Kentucky. Tucker placed in the number one spot on Sunday with a score of 2513.0.
The two-time All-American’s precision in the range contributed to her success on Sunday when she fired 48 out of 60 possible center shots and eight 10.7s and eight 10.8s.
“Having a former athlete on the team go on and make the U.S. Olympic Team is another step in the right direction for the program,” Ole Miss head coach Marsha Beasley said. “I do think that it says positive things about Ole Miss Rifle. Certainly, having one of our alums at the Tokyo Olympics representing the United States will increase awareness of Ole Miss Rifle.”
The USA Shooting Team will consist of eight athletes for rifle shooting, including four for smallbore and four for air rifle. A 50-meter smallbore and 10-meter air rifle competition will take place featuring men’s, women’s and mixed teams.
The only other member of Ole Miss Rifle to ever make an Olympic team was Tony Rosetti, who competed in the 1972 Munich Olympics in trap shooting. Since 1988, Ole Miss has had Rebels represent the U.S. in the Olympics in categories like track and field, women’s basketball and shooting.
Weisz will stand among those eleven Rebel Olympians.
The Ole Miss Rifle team will host their final matches of the regular season this weekend at the Ole Miss Rifle Range. The Rebels will take on No. 4 Nebraska at 8 a.m on Friday and host No. 8 Memphis at 9 a.m on Saturday.