October 3, 2012

Jenna Compton Named No. 3 Female Athlete in School History

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AKRON, Ohio – Jenna Compton, a national champion and member of the University of Akron rifle team from 2009-12, has been honored as the No. 3 UA Female Athlete of all time, Akron's Title IX committee announced Wednesday.

In 2009, the then-freshman Compton became just the second student-athlete in school history to win a national championship, and the first to do so for the rifle program, as she won the NCAA Individual Air Rifle Championship at the NCAA Rifle Championships at Texas Christian University.

With the victory, Compton became the first Akron athlete to capture a national championship since Christi Smith, who won the 2000 heptathlon national title in track & field.

"It's an honor," said Compton of being named among Akron's top-10 female student-athletes. "The journey it took to become one of the top female student-athletes in Akron history is the greatest achievement and honor I have obtained in my life thus far." 

All the makings of a Cinderella story were in place for Compton's fairytale ending in 2009. She gained her NCAA berth at the NCAA Qualifier at the Ohio State University and fired a mark of 587, earning top gun honors and a gold medal at the event, while qualifying with the nation's 14th-best score. Compton became just the second shooter in UA history to earn an NCAA bid since Varsity "A" Hall of Famer Mark Beres did so back in 1979.

At the NCAA Championships, Compton shot a school record and personal best 590 in the first two flights and bested West Virginia's Bryan Wallizer by sixth-tenths of a point in the overall standings after the 10-shot final to be crowned national champion.

"Jenna is an example of what total dedication to a sport can give," said Akron head coach Newt Engle. "She came to Akron with little experience, but with an incredible amount of desire and drive, she became a national champion."

Compton earned numerous individual All-Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference and All-Western Intercollegiate Rifle Conference accolades for air rifle and smallbore during her Akron career. She also garnered recognition from the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association as a multiple time member of the All-Academic Team.

She capped her senior year by helping the Zips win the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Rifle Conference title in the smallbore category, which marked the first time in program history that Akron defeated Navy.

"Looking back, I can say I'm most proud of the personal achievements I made during my four year-long journey as a student-athlete," said Compton. "I broke numerous personal bests and helped my team succeed on and off the range. We broke the school record twice in one season for combined smallbore and air rifle scores and claimed five conference championship titles during my four years. I feel as though I have been a strong asset to the team and we have come a great distance since my freshman year at Akron."

Compton is part of a larger group of 40 former female UA student athletes that were named to the school's all-time top 40 list as part of the University's Title IX celebration. The school will honor its long and storied history of women's athletics this Saturday, Oct. 6 during a special reception on the FirstMerit Foundation Club Level (5th floor) of InfoCision Stadium – Summa Field

The celebration will feature speaking appearances by former Zips' individual national champions Smith and Compton, and others. Multiple Emmy award-winning broadcaster and author Connie Dieken will emcee the event.

All former and current UA female student-athletes are invited to attend an exclusive social hour from 10-11 a.m. Doors will then open to the public at 11 a.m. There will be no charge for admission.

Our Top 10 countdown of the Zips' greatest female athletes of all time continues Thursday. Be sure to log on to GoZips.com when we will reveal No. 2 on our list.

Top 10 Zips Female Athletes Of All Time
10.  -  Dani Vance Crookston (Softball; Pitcher; 1981-84)
9.  -
Zara Harutyunyan (Tennis; 2009-12)
8.  -
Carrie Kayes (Track & Field; Pole Vault; 2007-10)
7.  -
Kira Sims (Track & Field; Pole Vault; 2001-04)
6.  - Mary Varga (Track & Field; Jumps/Javelin/Multis; 1999-2003)
5.  -
Kay Piper (Softball; Shortstop; 1982-85; Volleyball; 1981-84)
4.  -
Beata Rudzinska (Track & Field/Cross Country; Middle Distance; 2003-06)
3.  -
Jenna Compton (Rifle; 2009-12)
2.  -
Thursday, Oct. 4
1.  - 
Friday, Oct. 5