Impressive air rifle score powers Kentucky past Army

Kentucky shoots a 2390 in air rifle for a 4733 overall team score

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – The University of Kentucky rifle team posted an impressive air rifle team score of 2390 on its way to a total team aggregate of 4733 in a victory at Army on Saturday.

“Happy with the overall performance for the first day,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “We learned a lot to take back and work on tomorrow vs. NC State.”

Kentucky (6-1) started the match Saturday with a 2343 in smallbore and clinched the win with a 2390 in air rifle for the 4733 total aggregate. Army scored a 2309 in smallbore and 2347 in air rifle for a 4656. The 2390 air rifle score is the nation’s best this season, while the 4733 ties UK’s second-highest mark of the season. Kentucky is one of two teams in the nation to score a 4733 or higher more than once this season. The top five individual performers at the match were all from Kentucky.

Junior Mary Tucker led the way in the match, scoring a 594 in smallbore and 599 in air rifle for an aggregate of 1193. All three marks were the best of the day among both teams. Seniors Richard Clark and Will Shaner also had strong days. Clark scored a career-best 598 in air rifle along with a 586 in smallbore for a 1184 aggregate. Shaner scored a 583 in smallbore and 595 in air rifle for a 1178 aggregate. Fellow senior Mitchell Nelson posted a 579 in smallbore and 595 in air rifle for a 1174 total. Freshman Allison Buesseler scored a 568 in smallbore and a career-best 598 in air rifle for a 1166 aggregate. All five Wildcats in the air rifle rotation scored a 595 or higher.

It was a fantastic match for junior Emmie Sellers on Saturday, scoring a 578 in smallbore and 594 in air rifle for a 1172 aggregate. Junior Mason Hamilton scored a 580 in smallbore and 582 in air rifle for a 1162 aggregate. Freshmen Kayla Kalenza and Tori Kopelen each scored career-bests in smallbore with Kalenza earning a 581 and Kopelen at 585. In air rifle, Kopelen scored a 585 while Kalenza earned a 575.

Lauren McMahan led the way for Army, scoring a 577 in smallbore and 593 in air rifle for an aggregate of 1170. Claudia Sigel scored a 580 in smallbore and 582 in air rifle for a 1162 aggregate.

Army (0-4) will also being its 2022 season this weekend. The Black Knights fell in all four of its dual matches in the fall of 2021, losing to Nebraska, Air Force, West Virginia and Ohio State. Army finished third in the President’s Trophy Match with Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. Claudia Sigel leads the team with a 1170.833 aggregate average while Lauren McMahan is second on the team with a 1169.667 aggregate average.

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