Rifle Set for GARC Championships

LEXINGTON, Ky. ? The Kentucky rifle team, who earlier this season secured the conference regular season championship, begins the Great American Rifle Conference Championships Saturday in Oxford, Miss.

?The team has been working hard all week to get ready for this match,? Kentucky head coach Harry Mullins said. ?The tournament will have a field of seven teams, because Xavier will not have a team. Army and N.C. State have some very good teams and the rest of the conference has been very strong this season.?

Kentucky (11-1) wrapped up an excellent regular season, as it captured the conference championship with an unblemished conference slate. UK?s only loss came at the hands of the defending NCAA Champion Alaska-Fairbanks, in a narrow defeat at Kentucky?s Barker Hall.

?I think that the conference tournament will be a close match,? Mullins said. ?It will be the same format in relay times and assignments as the NCAA?s. It will be one of those matches where it will come down to the last shooter, on the last relay, in the last position. I think that these types of matches are what the sport is all about.?

Kentucky has been paced by veteran senior leader Amy Sowash and two freshmen sensations, Tom Csenge and Jen Pason. Sowash, a co-captain with fellow senior Justin Rinker, has been a fixture in the lineup and her air rifle shooting has been steady and consistent all season. Pason and Csenge have been battling it out for GARC Freshman of the Year honors.

?Even though we went undefeated in the regular season, it will be a close match among all of us,? Mullins said. ?The other teams are all very strong and they will work very hard. From a conference stand point you could not ask for anymore. With the talent pool in our conference I think that we will have more All Americans competing in our conference tournament that in any other conference tournament in the country. It will be a good match to watch.

?With the work we have put forth during the past two weeks we should see some great performances from our team,? Mullins concluded.