2012 Winter Airgun Championships
Dec. 3, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky rifle team had a strong showing at the 2012 Winter Airgun Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., including freshman Connor Davis posting the top score on Day One and Day Two in men's air rifle.
Davis opened the weekend with dominating performances, shooting the highest scores in men's air rifle (697.7) and junior men's air rifle (697.6) Friday. The freshman continued on Saturday, coming back from two points down entering Day Two's Finals, shooting a 103.2 in the Final to take the second day with an aggregate score of 695.2. Davis delivered the highest Final score of the weekend on Sunday in the junior men's competition, shooting a world-class 105.2.
"Connor had an impressive 105.2 the last day, solidifying himself as one of the top juniors in the country," UK assistant coach Amy Sowash said. "Equally important were the other performances that day, showing our depth, work ethic and determination."
Sophomore Elijah Ellis got in on the action, shooting a 593 Sunday to qualify for the final eight. Ellis shot a 103.4 in the final round to gain over three points on the leader and post the best score of Day Three (696.4). Including Ellis, Kentucky had four representatives in the Final on Day Three, Davis, junior Aaron Holsopple and senior Ed Ryznar.
"It was nice to see UK represented in the men's finals each day and have Emily (Holsopple) represent the women in the final," UK head coach Harry Mullins said. "It was a very gratifying way to end the semester, having the last Final of the competition consist of 50 percent Kentucky."
Ryznar and Aaron Holsopple posted solid personal scores on Day Three, with Ryznar shooting a 592 and Holsopple delivering a 590 to advance each into the Final.
"I was proud of our team's ability to stay calm over three days of intense competition," UK assistant coach Amy Sowash said. "They didn't give in and kept level heads to improve each day. Having at least one win each day is a great thing but more importantly, the athletes were able to learn lessons which will benefit them going forward."
With the women only shooting 40 shots, junior Emily Holsopple landed in the Finals on Day Two of the junior women's competition. Holsopple delivered consecutive 392s on Friday and Saturday before shooting a 393 on Sunday.
"I felt it was a very productive trip for us to take as many as we did out there," Mullins said. "We gained a lot of experience and hopefully we will bring some of that back to use as we move in to the heart of our competitive season in January and February."