Feb. 26, 2012
OXFORD, MISS. -- The Kentucky rifle team used great air rifle performances from Ethan Settlemires, Heather Greathouse and Stacy Wheatley to post a 2362 team total on the second and final day of the Great American Rifle Conference Championships with a second-place 4675 total team score, hosted by Ole Miss at the Patricia C. Lamar United State Army National Guard Readiness Center on Sunday.
Kentucky (11-1, 6-0 GARC) completed the final day of the GARC Championships with a solid air rifle score to finish second to West Virginia overall, after UK placed third in smallbore on Saturday. UK, the regular-season conference champions and the defending NCAA Champions, fell just six points shy of the Mountaineers.
“It was a really hard-fought effort,” Mullins said. “We had a similar finish last year in that we won the regular-season championship, finished second in the GARC Championships and won the national championship. Hopefully we can build on this weekend and get in a good position going to the NCAA’s.”
UK was led on Sunday by a strong air rifle performance, as Settlemires paced the team with a 595. Greathouse fired a 592, while Wheatley finished with a 590. Henri Junghanel totaled a 585 and Katie Fretts fired a 579 to round out the starting lineup.
“We had some really good individual accomplishments,” Mullins said. “Wheatley struggled early and dropped some points but fought back to shoot a 590. Ethan dropped a few points early and shot a 595. Heather really rallied to beat out Ethan for second place and Henri and Heather had good days in smallbore on Saturday.”
Also individually in air rifle, UK had several shooters compete, including Cody Manning (576), John Sutton (565), Ethan Marne (576), Ed Ryznar (582), Jonathan Pinkel (579), Elijah Ellis (587) and James Jasis (578).
“We broke 2360 in air rifle and WVU just shot a little bit better,” Mullins said. “We just have to keep working hard so we can get the numbers we want. We can’t bow our heads and feel sorry for ourselves. The team worked hard today, things just didn’t work out in the final score. Every team leaves a competition feeling like they left points on the board. We made some mistakes but the good part is we worked hard throughout. Sometimes you can overwork things and this will be a good learning experience. We will get right back at it at training and get ready for the NCAA Championships.”
UK will return to action on March 9-10 in its NCAA Title defense quest at the NCAA Championships.