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[PHOTO: Matt Wallace in class]For successful athletes, academics and sports merge
By Dave Geringer and Jamie Schanback

Matt Wallace • Rifle

[PHOTO: Matt Wallace]The UAF rifle team has become synonymous with success, winning seven NCAA championships, the last six consecutively. Senior Matt Wallace of Fairbanks joined the Nanooks after a successful career at Lathrop High School. He has been successful in the classroom as well.

He trains at least 20 hours a week, with most of the time spent shooting. "It's kind of like practicing with a musical instrument," said UAF Head Rifle Coach Glenn Dubis. "You can take a couple months off, but you can't take a couple years off."

Wallace is working on a bachelor of technology degree, and has earned outstanding honors competing in rifle. He's been an All-American three years in a row, earning first team status as both a sophomore and as a junior. He is also a member of the United States national development team.

A flexible schedule helps Wallace succeed. "We shoot six days a week, but the schedule is flexible, according to your classes," said Wallace. "Saturdays we have practice matches which are called record days, and they run just like a match to get us prepared. The scores are used to decide who will be on the team. I have a different class schedule Tuesday and Thursday, so my practice schedule is different. I'm taking 18 credits, so there is some extra stuff in the mix."

Time management is of the essence, according to Wallace. "I look ahead at the schedule and plan," Wallace said. "If I'm behind, I put in some extra time to catch up, and, if I'm caught up, I put in some extra time to get ahead. It's definitely a balancing act."

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All UAF photos by Todd Paris unless otherwise noted.