Rifle No. 2 begins GARC Championships Friday at West Point
LEXINGTON, Ky. — After securing a share of the Great America Rifle Conference regular season title earlier this season, the University of Kentucky No. 2 rifle team is looking to bring back more gear this weekend. end as she competes at the GARC Championships in West Point, New York.
The two-day event begins with small arms relays on Friday and air rifle relays on Saturday. Competition on both days is scheduled to begin around 8 a.m. ET with an individual format of eight finalists to follow each day. The Army, Akron, Memphis, Navy, North Carolina State, Nebraska, Ole Miss and West Virginia will join the UK at the event. Live stats are available at ukathletics.com. The GARC Championships took place virtually last season.
Kentucky is averaging an overall score of 4720.73 this season thanks to a smallbore average of 2343.73 and an air rifle average of 2377. It was a year filled with school records as the Wildcats set new brands in the small caliber, air rifle and aggregate programs. All three marks came in the UK’s win over NC State at Army. The game started with Kentucky earning a team-record smallbore score of 2360, beating their previous best of 2358. The Wildcats topped that in air rifle with a school-record 2392, which was a better than best previous of 2391. The two high scorers totaled a total team score of 4752, which was not only a school record but an NCAA record. TCU and Alaska Fairbanks scored 4,752 team scores over the following weeks.
The Wildcats are one of two teams in the country that have two low-caliber scores of 2,359 or more this season. The UK have the second and third highest scoring air rifle team in the country this season as the only team to score over 2390 in the discipline twice. Overall, the Wildcats along with TCU and Alaska Fairbanks are the only teams with overall team ratings of 4,740 or better this season.
Senior Will Shaner, which won a gold medal in air rifle at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, leads Kentucky with an overall average of 1,186.889 this season with 590.222 in small bore and 596.667 in air rifle. Junior Mary Tucker, who won a silver medal in Tokyo, earns a total of 1186.778 this season behind a small bore 589.556 and an air rifle 597.222. Senior Richard Clark is having a great season for the Wildcats, scoring 585.182 in the small bore and 594.182 in the air rifle. senior companion Mitchell Nelson wins a 580.818 in small caliber and 589.909 in air rifle.
First-year student Allison Buesseler has performed well for the UK over the past few months and secured his top spot in both rosters last weekend, scoring well in both disciplines. Over the season, she posted an average of 573.4 in small arms and 591.091 in air rifle. Junior jade thompson and Emmie Sellers are having good years. Thompson averages 578.889 in small bore and 588.333 in air rifle, while Sellers earns 577.1 in small bore and 589.364 in air rifle. Junior Companion Mason Hamilton earns a 578.818 in small bore and 583.7 in air rifle. Freshmen Tori Kopelen and Kayla Kalenza got off to a good start in their academic careers. Kopelen has an average of 578.889 in small bore and 584.5 in air rifle, while Kalenza is 571.714 in small bore and 582.25 in air rifle.
After the GARC Championships, Kentucky will compete in the NCAA Rifle Championship. The national event will take place March 11-12 inside Clune Arena at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The individual and small-bore team competition is scheduled for Friday, March 11 while the air rifle competition will take place on Saturday, March 12.
For more information on the Kentucky Rifle Team, visit UKathletics.com or follow UKRifle on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.