Former graduate Taylor Ciotola is making his mark at West Virginia University as a member of the No. 3-ranked rifle team
Pasadena Patch: How did you get into rifling?
Ciotola: My father is friends with the head coach of Queen Anne’s County 4-H Program and they have a team there that traveled pretty regularly. My dad just looked into getting me on a team as fast as possible so I could get into the sport.
Pasadena Patch: What drew you to participate in rifling?
Ciotola: Actually it was the whole safety procedure they go through. Everything they do is all about safety. That’s really why I wanted to learn because I have always been around hunting and guns so I was really interested in all the safety procedures.
Pasadena Patch: Why did you choose West Virginia University?
Ciotola: At the time they had just come out of winning a national championship, so they were the top team in the country. They were also the closest rifle school from home, since they are just 3 1/2 hours from Pasadena.
Pasadena Patch: Describe a typical rifle competition?
Ciotola: You shoot two guns; one is air rifle and the other is a 22-smallbore. You shoot in three positions for smallbore; laying down, standing and kneeling. You have 20 shots for each position, and two hours to complete all 60 shots. In air rifle you get 60 shots all standing, and you have an hour and forty-five minutes to do that.
(Players are shooting at a target during the competition)
Pasadena Patch: What is your favorite part about the competition?
Ciotola: My favorite part is probably in the beginning to the match, when you have that adrenaline rush that you get right before you start. We have people that come to watch, and it is just the rush that you get when you are getting ready to compete.
Ciotola's parents still live in Pasadena and have made it up to West Virginia for every home match so far this season.