Rifle Ranked Preseason No. 3
By Jacob Most
Sept. 25, 2014 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky rifle team will begin the season as the third-ranked team in the country as the preseason Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association poll was released on Wednesday.
All 12 of the Wildcats scheduled head-to-head regular season opponents for the 2014-15 season are currently ranked in the top-20, including top-ranked West Virginia and No. 2 Alaska-Fairbanks. Three of those opponents will face off against UK in Lexington.
“It’s always an honor to have such a high preseason ranking, but it is what it is: a preseason poll,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “It’s what we have to do to finish where we want at the end of the year that’s the important part. We humbly accept the honor going into the preseason poll No. 3, but all we can do is work our tails off to hopefully live up to that high expectation.”
The Wildcats finished third at the 2014 NCAA Championships, behind only West Virginia and Alaska.
UK returns three of five starters from the 2014 NCAA Bronze-Medal team.
Leading the way for UK in 2014 will be defending Individual Air Rifle NCAA Champion Connor Davis and 2014 U.S. Air Rifle Junior Champion Sonya May as the pair were the top-two team competitors for UK a year ago.
UK also returns four 2014 All-Americans to this year’s team as Davis earned the honor in three events, May in two, while Heather Kirby and Elijah Ellis each earned the honor in air rifle. Jonathan Pinkel was an Honorable Mention All-America in air rifle.
Additionally Cody Manning enters his senior season coming off a strong summer, as he finished 19th in the USA Shooting Prone Championships, and 25th in Air Rifle. He competed at the U.S. Championships alongside teammates Davis, May, Ellis, Pinkel, Jason Sharbel and Luke South.
Davis and May also competed at the 2014 World Championships earlier this month.
Kentucky will begin the regular season on Oct. 11 at home against Akron.
2014 CRCA Preseason Top-20
1. West Virginia*
6. Ohio State
7. Air Force
8. Jacksonville State
10. Murray State*
12. Ole Miss
13. NC State*
14. UT Martin
18. Columbus State
19. Morehead State
*=Visits UK in 2014