Rifle Hosts NCAA Qualifying Round
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After posting a win over No. 1 West Virginia to win the league title last weekend, the Kentucky rifle team (10-1) will return to action Saturday, hosting the NCAA Qualifying Round at UK’s Barker Hall.
“It’s going to be an interesting situation in this match, because we are coming off such a good score last weekend,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “They have been working really hard in training and everyone is shooting really well. Our confidence is high, now they just have to make sure they can put up solid numbers this weekend.”
The win over top-ranked West Virginia gave Kentucky its fourth all-time regular season Great American Rifle Conference Championship. Led by Henri Junghänel’s smallbore score of 582 and air rifle score of 595 the team posted an overall 4696 that set a school record.
“This is going to be an important match for us because the qualifying round makes up 50 percent of the total scores that are used to qualify for the NCAA Championships,” Mullins said. “The other 50 percent comes from our top three scores in the regular season. Saturday will also be important for some of our individual shooters who will have a chance to qualify for the championships which will be critical. Right now, based on the scores around the country, we are in third place and are really close to narrowing that gap.”
Kentucky also posted a season high and school record in air rifle with a score of 2374. Freshman Emily Holsopple and junior Ethan Settlemires each scored a 594 in air rifle, while sophomore Heather Greathouse and junior Megan English posted strong scores of 591 and 589 in air rifle to give the team the victory.
“This is the first time we are only allowed to shoot five with the team,” Mullins said. “The same five that shoots smallbore must shoot air rifle. One of the strengths of our team is its tremendous depth with both guns, so this will be an interesting format for us.”
The match will be covered extensively through UKathletics.com, with a live blog, live targets, a live webcam and updates through Facebook and Twitter.