Rifle Travels to Oxford for GARC Championships

OXFORD, Miss. – Winners of the regular-season Great American Rifle Conference title, the Kentucky rifle team travels to the campus of Ole Miss for the 2010-11 GARC Championships, set for Saturday and Sunday at the Patricia C. Lamar Army National Guard Readiness Center.

The Wildcats won the GARC regular-season championship with an unbeaten slate, including posting a win over No. 1 West Virginia to clinch the title.

“Coming into this weekend we have some great teams and some great competition,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “We have trained hard all season. This is great training for the NCAA Championships which is an identical format. There are three of the top eight teams in the nation here and some really good shooters. We just need to utilize what we have learned. We need to train how we shoot and shoot how we train.”

The teams will shoot smallbore on Saturday, beginning at 8:30 a.m. ET and going throughout the day. On Sunday, the air rifle portion of the competition will be held.

“It’s all about competing day in and day out and knowing that you are competitive,” Mullins said. “Each individual is going to have to come out and compete at the best of their abilities. Not really against anyone else but against the course, pushing yourself on every shot to maximize your performances. We are hoping we can get a good score tomorrow and head into Sunday. It is going to be a good test for us in terms of putting to use what we developed.”

UK last competed at the Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center in January, traveling to Oxford and posting a season-high team score in a win over Ole Miss.

“That is going to give them some confidence,” Mullins said. “They should feel fairly comfortable knowing that they have had some really good numbers down here. We had some people struggle on that trip and they still pulled it out throughout. Having that opportunity to come down here and compete a few weeks ago gives them that confidence that should carry into that environment tomorrow. It is an advantage but there are some differences.”

“The goal is just to keep competing and doing what we have been doing,” UK assistant coach Stacy Underwood said. “One of our goals throughout the year was to be here and compete for the conference championship. This is the next step towards progressing along.”