Rifle Posts Season-Best Score in NCAA Qualifying

Feb. 15, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Behind strong performances from Tom Csenge, Andrew Roland and Jen Pason, the Kentucky rifle team posted a season-best 4671 overall score in NCAA qualifying, held Saturday and Sunday at UK’s Barker Hall.

UK’s topped its previous season-best performance of 4670, against Nebraska in Fairbanks, Alaska. Csenge and Roland helped spark the Wildcats first team, with Pason posting a stellar combined score.  

“I was really pleased, we are on that path where we want to be as far as moving forward and steadily improving,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “We got a couple of really big scores on the first team in Tom and Andrew’s performances and that really sparked us. We left some points off the board and will need to work to continue to shoot scores in the 4670’s.”

Csenge posted a school-record 595 in air rifle and a 580 in smallbore, while Roland posted a 588 in smallbore, believed to be the top score in the nation during qualifying weekend. Roland’s performance was most impressive because his 200 in kneeling was believed to be unprecedented, since the sport switched to a new targeting system four years ago. 

“Right now, and we are still waiting on a few of the results to come in, but Tom and Andrew have posted some of the best, if not the best scores in the nation during the weekend, so that is something very impressive,” Mullins said.

Pason finished with a 589 in air rifle and a 581 in smallbore – highlighted by a 199 in kneeling and a 197 in prone. Ashley Jackson finished with a 588 in air rifle and a 577 in smallbore, with freshman Ethan Settlemires chipping in with a 586 in air gun and a 575 in smallbore. Fellow freshman Megan English posted a 582 in air rifle.

“One thing that has been nice throughout the year has been that we have had different hero’s step up in different matches with really good scores,” Mullins said. “That just speaks to the depth of the team, which is very exciting.”

Kentucky (10-1, 6-0 Great American Rifle Conference) claimed the conference regular-season championship with an undefeated league slate during 2008-09. UK returns to action in the GARC Championships, held in Oxford, Miss., Feb. 28- March 1 on the campus of Ole Miss.