UK Rifle team on target in fall finale vs. Akron
Kentucky ends its fall season with a 4724-4674 victory over Akron on Saturday
LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Athletics) – The University of Kentucky rifle team completed its fall schedule in style Saturday as it earned a 4724-4674 victory over Akron inside Barker Hall.
The team score was the third highest of the season for the Wildcats, just behind UK’s 4736 vs. Navy and 4733 last weekend in the Kentucky Long Rifle Match. UK earned the high score after posting a 2344 in smallbore and 2380 in air rifle. The smallbore total was the third highest of the year for UK, while the air rifle team score was the second best of the season.
“I am happy with the overall team effort today. I think we finished the fall schedule in good shape,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “I know the athletes will take advantage of the break we have over the next month and come back motivated and focused in January. Really pleased with Mason Hamilton and Emmie Sellers posting career highs in smallbore in the second relay. They have been working hard and that was good to see.”
The top five individual performers at the match were all Kentucky shooters with senior Will Shaner leading the way with a 1189 aggregate. Shaner earned the top score with a 591 in smallbore and season-best 598 in air rifle.
Shane is the seventh athlete in the NCAA this season to post a 1189 aggregate or higher and Kentucky is now the only team in the nation to have two shooters in that category. The other to claim that honor from Kentucky is junior Mary Tucker, who earned a 1181 Saturday after a 584 in smallbore and 597 in air rifle. Tucker has scored 597 or higher in air rifle in all four of her NCAA matches this fall.
Finishing third and fourth overall at the match were UK seniors Richard Clark and Mitchell Nelson. Clark scored a 585 in smallbore and 593 in air rifle, wile Nelson posted a 584 in smallbore and 592 in air rifle. Clark’s aggregate score Saturday tied a season-best mark as he has scored 585 or higher in smallbore three times this season. Clark has also scored a 590 or higher in air rifle in every match. Nelson’s 592 in air rifle was one off his career best mark.
Juniors Emmie Sellers and Mason Hamilton performed well at the match with both posting a career-best aggregate score. Hamilton bested his career best with a 595 in smallbore, adding a 586 in air rifle for the impressive aggregate of 1175. Sellers scored a career-high 584 in smallbore and followed with a 587 in air rifle for a 1171 aggregate. Fellow junior Jaden Thompson, who shot a perfect 200 in prone, scored a 579 in smallbore and 586 in air rifle for a 1165 aggregate.
Also competing Saturday was freshmen Allison Buesseler and Tori Kopelen. Buesseler scored a 569 in smallbore and 590 in air rifle, while Kopelen earned a 575 in smallbore and 586 in air rifle.
Saturday’s match completed the fall season for Kentucky, who will return to action Jan. 15-16 with dual matches at Army vs. Army and NC State.