Shaner, Tucker Shine at National Junior Olympic Championships

Shaner, Tucker Shine at National Junior Olympic Championships

by Evan Crane

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 2021 NCAA Rifle National Champions continue to bring home medals as Will Shaner and Mary Tucker each won an individual honor at the National Junior Olympic Championships on Sunday hosted by USA Shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 
Shaner took home two medals Sunday, earning the gold in the men’s smallbore competition followed by a silver in the men’s air rifle. Tucker also won gold in smallbore and finished fifth in air rifle. Earlier this year, Shaner and Tucker led the Wildcats to their third national championship posting the highest ever team score in the modern format at the NCAA Rifle Championships. The national championship capped an impressive season for the Wildcats that included a new school-record team score and a share of the Great America Rifle Conference Regular-Season Championship.
Shaner earned first-team All-America honors this past season from the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association for aggregate, smallbore and air rifle. This is the third straight season the CRCA has honored Shaner as an All-American after he was first-team All-America last season and earned CRCA Rookie of the Year and All-America honors as a freshman.
Shaner had strong averages in both disciplines this season, earning a 589.25 in smallbore and 595.667 in air rifle for an aggregate average of 1184.917. Shaner finished second in air rifle at the NCAA Championships last week. Shaner was one of three athletes in the nation to score a 595 or higher in smallbore this season. In air rifle, Shaner was one of five athletes in the nation to post a 599 or higher in air rifle. Shaner scored 1190 or higher aggregates twice this season and was one of three athletes in the nation to accomplish that feat more multiple times.
Tucker’s trophy case continues to grow after she won the International Shooting Sport Federation Women’s Air Rifle 10m Gold Medal in April. That win was on top of her earning the most outstanding performer honor at the NCAA Championships in March. The sophomore took home every top crown possible at the championships, winning smallbore individual gold, air rifle individual gold and the overall crown.
Tucker was tabbed the CRCA Athlete of the Year for the second straight season this year. She also earned three top honors from the CRCA as an aggregate, smallbore and air rifle first-team All-America honoree. This is the second straight season she has earned first-team All-America honors from the CRCA.
During her sophomore season with the Wildcats, Tucker averaged 592.417 in smallbore and 597.75 in air rifle this season for an aggregate average of 1190.167. Tucker had the highest individual smallbore score in the nation this season of 597, while she was the only athlete in the nation to score 595 or higher in smallbore multiple times. In air rifle, Tucker was one of three athletes to post a perfect 600. Overall, Tucker scored a 1195 aggregate twice this season, which was the highest combined score in the nation.
For more information on the Kentucky rifle team, visit UKathletics.com or follow UKRifle on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.  

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