No. 3 Kentucky Rifle Finishes Second at GARC Championships

Feb. 24, 2013

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky rifle team finished second overall at the Great America Rifle Conference Championships in Oxford, Miss., shooting a 2361 in air rifle on Sunday to bring the team's aggregate score to 4690.

"I'm happy for the team. Obviously we wanted to win but I'm happy," UK head coach Harry Mullins said. "We saw a lot of points slip away but to still be able to get a 4690 is an accomplishment in itself. We had three out of the eight in the final air rifle. Overall for the team standpoint you can't be too disappointed minus the fact that we didn't win."

Freshman Connor Davis claimed the individual air rifle title on Sunday, shooting a 701 to narrowly defeat a 700.5 from Petra Zublasing of West Virginia. The freshman from Shelbyville, Ky., entered the air rifle final down one after shooting a 596 but stormed back with a 105 in the Final to claim the win.

"It's always neat, especially as a freshman to put up a big number like that," Mullins said. He's had some good numbers this season in air rifle. I'm very excited for him. He struggled a little yesterday so to come back today and put in a performance like that shows the mark of a true competitor. He was down one point to two very strong competitors and make it up in the Finals, that in itself is a great accomplishment."

Davis was joined in the air rifle finals by senior Henri Junghänel and sophomore Elijah Ellis. Junghänel shot a 593 and added a 101.8 in the Final to finish fourth individually in air rifle. Ellis' 99.2 in the final on top of a 591 placed him in eighth overall.

After placing second individually in smallbore on Saturday, Junghänel's air rifle performance placed him second overall individually with an aggregate score of 1179. Zublasing of West Virginia won the individual combined title with an aggregate score of 1192. Memphis' Daniel Hermsmeier placed third in individual aggregate with an 1173.

The Wildcats' aggregate score of 4690 placed them 15 points off the winner, West Virginia. Nebraska rounded out the top three with a 4647 aggregate score. The Mountaineers' victory marks their fourth consecutive tournament championship.

Junior Emily Holsopple brought her aggregate score to 1166 on Sunday after shooting a 585 in air rifle. Senior Ed Ryznar shot a 585 in air rifle to bring his aggregate score to 1163.

"We have to go out and work the next couple weeks and tweak a few things to make sure we can perform the way we want to at the NCAA Championships and not let some points slip away," Mullins said. "I thought the team worked really hard and battled out of a few tough situations. You always want the athletes to reap the rewards they work for but there is the potential for the team to learn from this and finish the season strong at NCAA Championships."

Kentucky will return to action March 8-9 in Columbus, Ohio, at the NCAA Championships.