UK Rifle Off to Strong Start to Season

LEXINGTON, Ky. and OXFORD, Miss. – The Kentucky rifle team placed second at the Ole Miss Open and won a home match against North Georgia.

The Wildcats split the squad on Saturday and compiled a team score of 4680 at the Ole Miss Open, finishing ahead of six teams, second overall to Murray State. Kentucky also defeated North Georgia 4627-4607 at home.

“We held it together at some rocky points throughout the match, but we need to get into a better recovery mode when we execute shots we shouldn’t shoot,” head coach Harry Mullins said. “As a whole, I think the group worked hard. We learned things about what we are doing in training and are now applying it to matches.  Congratulations to Hanna (Carr) for being the high shooter on the team. We will go back and prepare for next week.”

Carr, the reigning Great American Rifle Conference Air Rifle Champion, led the way for the Wildcats in both guns with a 595 in air rifle, and a 582 in smallbore for an 1177 aggregate score, two more than her average from last season.

In smallbore, Kentucky shot 2311 as a team. Junior Billy Azzinaro followed behind Carr with a 578, while Heather Kirby shot 577. Jason Spaude was three points behind Kirby after firing a 574 with Cathryn Papasodora shooting a 570.

Each Wildcat score that counted was better than 590 in air rifle for the match. Kirby shot a 593, coming up just short of her season-high air rifle score from last season. May, who shot the highest air rifle score for Kentucky last season, fired a 591 in her first air rifle action of her senior season. Papasodora finished four shots off her career-high air rifle score with a 590.

The remaining six Wildcats defeated the North Georgia Nighthawks at Buell Armory in Lexington on Saturday.

“We had some great performances this morning,” assistant coach Rena Goodwin said. “We have been working hard in training and it was nice to see that work pay off. Today also allowed us to identify some things that we need to work on this week in training. Overall, we had a good start to our season and look forward to a great year.”

Jason Sharbel was the high finisher for Kentucky in the match. He accumulated scores of 579 in smallbore and 580 in air rifle for an aggregate of 1159. Freshman Ian Foos placed two points behind Sharbel in aggregate, but posted the second highest air rifle score of the match (586). Jenna Bethea finished with a 588 in air rifle – the highest of the match – and an aggregate of 1155. Carmen Fry finished third on the team behind Foos after firing a 572 in smallbore and 584 in air rifle.

Kentucky’s next match is scheduled for October 15 at the Bancroft Hall Rifle Range in Annapolis, Maryland, as it takes on Navy.



Ole Miss Open

Kentucky 4680

Patricia C. Lamar National Guard Readiness Center – Oxford, Miss.

Name                       SB             AR            AGG

Hanna Carr          582         595         1177

Heather Kirby    577         593         1170

Billy Azzinaro      578         588         1166

Jason Spaude    574         587         1161

Sonya May           569         591         1160

Cat Papasodora                 570         590         1160


Kentucky 4627 – North Georgia 4607

Buell Armory – Lexington, Ky.

Name                       SB             AR            AGG

Jason Sharbel    579         580         1159

Ian Foos                 571         586         1157

Carmen Fry          572         584         1156

Jenna Bethea    567         588         1155

Andrew Miller   563         570         1133

Morgan Duerr    553         571         1124