No. 3 Kentucky Rifle Down Two Heading into Air Rifle at NCAAs
March 8, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky rifle team currently sits two points off the lead at the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio, shooting a 2315 in smallbore on Friday, led by a second-place finish from senior Henri Junghänel in individual smallbore.
Junghänel, a senior from Breuberg, Germany, shot a 589 in smallbore to enter the smallbore final tied for first with West Virginia's Petra Zublasing. With two of the premiere shooters in the NCAA battling for the individual smallbore title, the final would come down to the last shot.
Zublasing jumped out early in the 10-shot final, shooting a 10.1, 10.5 and 10.1 in her first three shots. Following a slow opening, Junghänel notched a 10 or better on shots three through six to get back into contention.
Through eight shots, Junghänel was in a bit of a hole, trailing Zublasing's 79.6 with a 77.8. The senior's next two shots would be his best shots of the final, consecutive 10.5s to position himself for a possible come-from-behind win of the individual smallbore national title. Zublasing gave Junghänel an opening with a 9.6 on her ninth shot, but delivered a 10.1 on her final shot to take the individual title by just .5 points.
Junior Emily Holsopple opened the day for Kentucky in the first relay, shooting a 576. Senior Heather Greathouse and junior Aaron Holsopple followed in the second relay, with Greathouse posting a 572 and Aaron Holsopple shooting a 574 to contribute to the team score. Along with Junghänel, freshman Connor Davis represented the Wildcats in the third relay, delivering a 576.
Senior Stacy Wheatley and sophomore Elijah Ellis were two of four to compete as individuals in smallbore at the championships. Wheatley shot a 571 in the first relay on Friday, while Ellis posted a 575.
The Wildcats sit in fourth place, but just two points off the lead. Defending champion TCU holds the lead heading into air rifle competition on Saturday, winning the smallbore title with a 2317. Alaska-Fairbanks and West Virginia both finished Friday with a 2316, with Alaska-Fairbanks holding the tiebreaker to claim second in smallbore.
The NCAA Championships will conclude on Saturday, with air rifle competition left to do decide the national champions.
Live results of Saturday's competition will be available on NCAA.com.