No. 1 Kentucky rifle posts second-best score in school history

Wildcats post the second-highest team score in school history with a 4741 on Saturday in Withrow Open

FINAL RESULTS

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 1 University of Kentucky rifle team continued its impressive start to the 2022 season Saturday, defeating Murray State in the Withrow Open by scoring the second-highest team score in program history.

Kentucky defeated Murray State 4741-4724. The strong aggregate team score was the second-best team score in program history for the Wildcats. UK posted a 4752 last weekend, which was the highest team score in NCAA history. The previous second-best team score was UK’s 4736 it earned earlier this season at Navy. UK scored a 4737 in 2020 against Navy, but the match was done virtually so scores did not count for NCAA purposes.

“Happy with how the team traveled and performed this weekend,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “Very proud of Richard today for getting that smallbore career high. That is something he has been working hard for and I am happy his training paid off. Overall, I am pleased with the performance. We have a few weeks to work on some things before we conclude the regular season at West Virginia in February.”

The Withrow Open includes Kentucky, Murray State, NC State, North Georgia, Jacksonville State and UAB. The event started Friday and runs through Sunday with every team competing in the Spurgin Rifle Range on the campus of Murray State University. Kentucky finished with the top team score at the event.

Led by Richard Clark’s career-high smallbore score of 592, Kentucky started the match with a 2359 team score in smallbore. The high mark is one off UK’s school-record smallbore team score of 2360, which was set last weekend vs. NC State. Junior Mary Tucker scored a 593 in the discipline, while senior Will Shaner posted a 591. Senior Mitchell Nelson scored a 583, while junior Jaden Thompson rounded out the lineup with a 578. Junior Mason Hamilton and freshman Tori Kopelen scored 581s, while fellow freshman Kayla Kalenza shot a 580. Junior Emmie Sellers scored a 577 and freshman Allison Buesseler posted a 576.

In air rifle, UK scored a 2382 as a team thanks to all five Wildcats in the lineup scoring a 590 or higher. Shaner led the way with a 599, while Tucker scored a 598. Clark posted a 593 in air rifle, while Thompson scored a 592 and Nelson rounded out the lineup with a 590. Buesseler continued her strong showing in air rifle with a 597. Sellers had a strong showing with a 593, while Kopelen and Kalenza each scored 582s. Hamilton scored a 581 in the discipline.

Murray State scored a 2346 in smallbore and 2378 in air rifle for a 4724 team score. The Racers were paced in smallbore by John Blanton at 589, while Matias Kiuru and Scott Patterson each scored 597s in air rifle.

Kentucky will have two weeks to train before it ends its regular season on Feb. 12 at West Virginia.

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