Mary Tucker Earns Second Gold at 2021 Junior Pan-Am Games
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The holiday weekend continued to be golden for University of Kentucky rifle star Mary Tucker, who earned her second gold medal at the 2021 Junior Pan-American Games in Colombia.
Tucker started the weekend by winning gold in women’s 10m air rifle and completed the weekend with gold in air rifle mixed team, competing with fellow American male Ryan Kissell.
In the mix team event, Tucker and Kissell set the tone in the preliminary rounds with a 625.6 score and qualified for the gold medal match with a 417.6. Both marks were significantly higher than Mexico, who finished second, and would face the USA in the gold medal match. Tucker and Kissell dominated in the final match to earn gold, winning 1043.2 to 1028.
Tucker first gold at the games came in the women’s 10m air rifle. She qualified for the final round by sitting first in the preliminary round with a score of 632, which was 13 points better than second place. She claimed the gold with a dominating performance in the final, scoring a 250.7, which was over four points better than second place.
Tucker has been amazing internationally this year, winning 10 medals in elite competitions. At the top of that list was Tucker’s silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 10m air rifle mixed team. She won six medals at the ISSF Junior World Championships, earning gold in 10m air rifle mixed team, women’s 10m air rifle and women’s 50m rifle three positions. She claimed silver at the junior world championships in women’s 10m air rifle and women’s 50m prone, while earning bronze in 50m rifle prone mixed team and women’s 50m rifle three positions. At the ISSF World Cup, Tucker claimed gold in women’s 10m air rifle, silver in women’s air rifle team and bronze in 10m air rifle mixed team.
The 2020 and 2021 seasons have been banner years for Tucker, who earlier this year 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.
Tucker’s trophy case continued to grow at the NCAA Championships in March, taking home every top crown possible at the championships, winning smallbore individual gold, air rifle individual gold and the overall crown. Tucker was tabbed the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association Athlete of the Year for the second straight season. She also earned three top honors from the CRCA as an aggregate, smallbore and air rifle first-team All-America honoree. It was 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 for an aggregate average of 1190.167. Tucker had the highest individual smallbore score in the nation last 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 last season, which was the highest combined score in the nation.
In limited matches so far this NCAA season due to her international schedule, Tucker has averaged a 587.7 in smallbore and 597.5 in air rifle for a 1185.0 aggregate. In her four matches, Tucker has scored a 592 or higher in smallbore twice and a 597 or higher in air rifle all four times.
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