Sonya May Wins Air Rifle Junior National Championship

June 25, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky rifle freshman Sonya May claimed the junior air rifle national championship at the USA Shooting National Championships, held at Fort Benning, Ga., on Monday and Tuesday.

A native of Rockland, Mass., May highlighted Kentucky’s student-athletes competing in the USA Shooting National Championships. May won the junior air rifle national title, with her classmate, Heather Kirby, finishing third in the air rifle competition. With the junior national championship, May earns a spot on the USA roster for the Junior World Championships in the fall.

May and Kirby competed in the air rifle competition on Monday, the opening day of the USA Shooting National Championships, before concluding the competition on Tuesday. May and Kirby each posted a 411.7 after finishing the first day just 0.6 points apart in the raw scores. May finished the first day of competition by winning the final, with Kirby finishing fifth. On Tuesday, May once again won the final, with Kirby placing second. In the finals, shooters earn points that are added to the raw score to determine a champion. In the open competition, May finished second and Kirby - a native of Shelbyville, Ky. - placed fourth.

“Sonya winning the junior national air rifle championship is a testament to the hard work she has put in all year,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “Sonya and Heather gave a tremendous effort so far this week and we are very proud of both of them and how they continue to represent our program and the University of Kentucky.”  

The top eight shooters each day take additional shots to distribute eight points, with the winner getting eight points, the second place shooter getting seven, etc. The three-shooter team was selected by taking the Junior Olympic Championship scores, in addition to the USA Shooting Junior National Championships.

The USA Shooting National Championships will continue through Sunday, with the men’s air rifle portion and the women’s smallbore competition starting on Friday. UK sophomore Connor Davis, a five-time All-America honoree out of Shelbyville, Ky., will compete in the air rifle competition, along with UK’s Elijah Ellis, Cody Manning, Jonathan Pinkel, Jason Sharbel and Luke South. In addition, UK greats Emily Holsopple and Amy Sowash are competing in the USA Shooting National Championships.