OXFORD, Miss. -- Despite getting strong performances on Sunday from newcomers Emily Holsopple and Henri Junghänel in air rifle, the Kentucky rifle team posted a 4672 total team score to finish second at the 2010-11 Great American Rifle Conference Championships, hosted by Ole Miss at the Patricia C. Lamar Army National Guard Readiness Center.
“Overall, I was proud of the effort,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “This was a great event with a ton of really good competition. It is a tough situation to come into and beat the No. 1 team in the country when they are shooting like that. But I think this is a great learning experience for our team. We will need to come out hungry at the NCAA Championships.”
The Wildcats, who won the regular-season title with an unbeaten slate, finished with a 4672 total team score, with No. 1 West Virginia winning the GARC Championships with a 4704 team score. UK finished ahead of Army (4644) and Ole Miss (4625), also besting Memphis (4610), Nebraska (4591) and N.C. State (4504). UK sat in second place after day one of the championships on Saturday, posting a 2322 total team score in smallbore. UK charted a 2350 team score in air rifle on Sunday, with WVU owning a 2367 score.
“We left some shots out on the board and the team knows that,” Mullins said. “I was certainly not disappointed in our effort, but we have some points out there that we can still get and we will continue to work hard to reach those numbers. It is nice that we have a 4672 total team score and we are disappointed, it shows how good this team is and how good it can be.”
Holsopple and Junghänel led UK in air rifle, with both newcomers totaling a 591. Ethan Settlemires finished with a 588, while Megan English had a 580 and Heather Greathouse – who led UK in smallbore on Saturday – totaled a 578.
Kentucky will return to action at the NCAA Championships, beginning on March 9 in Columbus, Ga.