UK Rifle Ranked No. 2 in Preseason

Sept. 11, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Coming off a 2011-12 season that featured a second consecutive national championship in smallbore and a second-place overall finish at the NCAA Championships, the University of Kentucky rifle team was voted the No. 2 team in the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association preseason poll.

"I am thrilled that we were voted No. 2 in the preseason," UK head coach Harry Mullins said. "It's a great honor to be thought of as the No. 2 team in the country heading into the season. That being said, we still have a lot of work to do and need to show improvement to get where we want to be. When it comes down to it, polls are just polls. We have to work hard to stay at the level the program is and even harder to continue to move the program forward."

The Wildcats finished this past year second at the NCAA Championship, just 15 points behind national champion TCU after posting a total score of 4,661. Kentucky finished the Great American Rifle Conference with one regular season loss, coming at TCU.

"I expect the top 10 to be a very even field this year," Mullins said. "The competition will be stiff throughout the NCAA this year and we've got a tough schedule ahead of us. I think our team is up for the challenge that this schedule presents and am confident they are going to work hard to reach the goals we have laid out."

Kentucky aims for the national championship in 2012-13 after returning all but one shooter from last year. Emily Holsopple concluded her sophomore year with a third-place finish in smallbore at the NCAA Championships before winning a silver medal in women's air rifle at the 2012 USA Shooting Junior Olympics. Holsopple finished the NCAA Championship with 587 points. Henri Junghänel finished seventh in smallbore at the 2012 NCAA Championship while leading the team in air rifle and finishing the event with 585 points.

"I'm excited about the team we have this year, returning nearly everyone from last year to go along with a couple freshmen brings us loads of experience and gives us an exciting look for the upcoming season," Mullins said. "We have a very hard working team and I look for them to turn in another solid year. Our main goal is to work on getting better every day and this group seems to personify the attitude needed to push the limits and stay focused on constantly getting better." 

Kentucky will open its season at Nebraska on Oct. 13.

CRCA Preseason Rifle Poll
1. TCU
3. West Virginia
4. Alaska-Fairbanks
5. Army
6. Ole Miss
7. Jacksonville State
8. Murray State
9. Nevada
T10. Ohio State
T10. Nebraska
12. Air Force
13. UTEP
14. Memphis
15. Navy
16. Columbus State
17. Akron
18. NC State
19. Morehead State
20. Tennessee-Martin 

Also receiving votes:  Coast Guard, The Citadel