Third-Ranked UK Rifle Defeats Akron to Begin Season


Oct. 11, 2014
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LEXINGTON, Ky. – The third-ranked Kentucky rifle team began the 2014-15 season with a 4686-4615 victory over Akron on Saturday at Buell Armory.

“Overall I think we are heading in the right direction,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “I feel that for the first match we had a good start. Cody Manning had a personal best in smallbore and with his combined score. Billy Azzinaro had a personal best in air rifle and combined score.

“I think that for the first match it should have gotten some of our jitters out of the way and we can look at working hard the next two weeks before our next test at Navy and NC State. I feel that we are moving in the right direction. We just need to get some things a little more settled down.”
The Wildcats led from wire to wire as they finished the smallbore portion of the competition with a 2324-2285 lead.

UK sealed the victory in air rifle outscoring Akron 2362-2330 in the second portion of the competition.

Manning led UK in smallbore with the aforementioned PR of 586. Sonya May shot a 584 in smallbore, while Elijah Ellis recorded a 578. Jon Pinkel shot 576 as UK had each of the top-4 shooters in smallbore. Freshman Billy Azzinaro shot a 573 in UK debut.

May, who was competing in UK colors for the first time since she won the 2014 U.S. Air Rifle Junior Championship over the summer and subsequently competed at the ISSF World Championships, led the way in air rifle with a 593.

Pinkel shot 591 in air rifle, followed by Manning, who’s 591 helped him to a personal best combined score. Azzinaro’s 587 air rifle score was also a PR, and Jason Sharbel shot a 587.

“I am looking forward to seeing what our next test brings after we put in another two weeks’ worth of hard work,” Mullins said.
UK will next compete on Saturday, Oct. 25 against the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.