UK Rifle Sixth After Smallbore at NCAA Championships

March 13, 2015

FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The fifth-ranked Kentucky rifle team sits in sixth place after smallbore at the NCAA Championships on Friday. Kentucky shot 2298 Alaska-Fairbanks' E.F. Horton Rifle Range.

Connor Davis placed third in smallbore, with a score of 583. Davis shot 441.3 in the final to claim the NCAA Bronze.

Davis earned the Great American Rifle Conference Title two weeks ago.

"We are very happy that Connor finished third in the individual smallbore final ," UK head coach Harry Mullins said. "He put himself in a position to win and just came up a little short. Yet just getting to that spot is a good achievement for the day."

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Second-ranked Alaska Fairbanks used its home-range advantage to take a 2331-2319 lead over top-ranked West Virginia after smallbore. Nebraska is in third with 2311, TCU is in fourth with 2305 and Jacksonville State is four points ahead of UK with 2302.

Heather Kirby began the day with a 568 in the first relay. Jason Sharbel recorded a 576 on the second relay, while Jonathan Pinkel produced a 567.

Sonya May turned in a 571 during the third relay, and Davis produced his 583 on the fourth relay.

"As a team we struggled a lot today," Mullins said. "It seemed at times that our process broke down and we could never recover in critical times. That is something we will have to fix before tomorrow."

"It is always disappointing to get these type of scores when you have put in so much hard work, yet it should show us that we have to keep pushing through our blocks to get the numbers we feel we deserve."

Nebraska's Rachel Martin won the individual smallbore title with a 453.3 in the final. Alaska Fairbanks' Ryan Anderson claimed the NCAA Smallbore Silver with a 452.6 in the final.

The overall team champion will be determined on Saturday by combining the smallbore and air rifle team total scores into one aggregate score for each institution.

Kentucky will need to make up ground to improve its position when the action shifts to air rifle tomorrow, beginning at Noon ET. A large crowd is expected in the Patty Center.

A total of 48 competitors are competing in the championships, with 40 competitors coming from the top eight teams selected. The remaining eight competitors were selected based on the scores submitted from the designated qualifier.

Individual and team competitions in smallbore three-position (60 shots) were held on Friday. Air rifle individual and team competitions (60 shots) will start at Noon on Saturday.

Davis, the defending NCAA Air Rifle Champion, ranks third in the nation in average combined score (1174.692).

Kirby is UK's top air rifle shooter in terms of average (591.154), which ranks eighth in the nation.

Team Smallbore Results
1. Alaska Fairbanks: 2331
2. West Virginia: 2319
3. Nebraska: 2311
4. TCU: 2305
5. Jacksonville State: 2302
6. Kentucky: 2298
7. MurrayState: 2296
8. Air Force: 2282

Individual Smallbore Final Results
Rachel Martin - Nebraska: 453.3
Ryan Anderson -- Alaska Fairbanks: 452.6
Connor Davis - Kentucky: 441.3