LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A year removed from claiming the first NCAA Championship in the history of the Kentucky rifle program, the Wildcats have been voted as the No. 1 team in the preseason by the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association, it was announced.
“Starting the season ranked No. 1 is always an exciting time yet, closing the season No. 1 is what we are shooting for,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “We are excited that we have earned enough first-place votes to start the season number one, yet there are many great teams out there this year that will be making a push for the championships at the end of the year. Our team is going to have to work very hard throughout the season and stay focused to stay in the top five with the talent that many teams have this year.”
The Wildcats claimed the first NCAA Championship in program history in 2010-11 with an NCAA championship record 4700 team score. In addition, UK’s Ethan Settlemires won the NCAA individual championship in smallbore, UK’s first individual title winner in school annals. UK returns several standouts, including Heather Greathouse, Katie Fretts, Emily Holsopple and Henri Junghänel.
“When you look at the strength of our schedule you can see that our RPI would be through the roof,” Mullins said. “It will be a very challenging season to say the least. So far, our freshmen have reacted well to their tasks and our upperclassmen have done the same. We are looking forward to getting another month of training in and then starting the season.”
Kentucky will open its season with an exhibition match with the US Army Marksmanship Unit on Oct. 3 at UK’s Barker Hall.
CRCA Preseason Rifle Poll
3. West Virginia
5. Murray State
8. Ole Miss
9. Air Force
10. Ohio State
18. NC State
20. Morehead State
Also receiving votes: Citadel, North Georgia, Rose-Hulman, VMI