Will Shaner Wins Individual Title, Kentucky Sits First After Smallbore

Will Shaner Wins Individual Title, Kentucky Sits First After Smallbore

by Evan Crane

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky senior Will Shaner won the NCAA Smallbore Individual Championship, while the University of Kentucky rifle team tied its school-record team score in smallbore of 2360 to sit first overall after the first day of competition at the 2022 NCAA Rifle Championships.

The competition will continue Saturday with air rifle. The event will take place inside the United States Air Force Academy’s Clune Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A individual final will take place following team competition Saturday. The NCAA Rifle Championships are being streamed live on NCAA.com, while live scoring is available at UKathletics.com.

“Good first day on the range and overall I am happy with how the team performed,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “I am very proud and happy for Will, earning his first NCAA Individual Championship. Mary also performed well and I was happy to see her get the silver. Richard had a solid day and performed well in the final. We will get some rest tonight and come back to the range tomorrow ready to compete and battle.”

Kentucky put together a total team effort in smallbore Friday, securing the highest team smallbore score in championship history. UK was paced by junior Mary Tucker, who posted a 593 overall. Tucker shot a 198 in kneeling, perfect 200 in prone and 195 standing to earn the highest individual score of the day. Shaner followed close behind with a 592, which was the second highest individual score on the day. Shaner shot a 197 kneeling, 199 prone and 196 standing. Senior Richard Clark had an impressive day, scoring a 589 in the discipline. Clark earned a 193 kneeling, 199 prone and 193 standing. The final counting score for Kentucky was from freshman Allison Buesseler, who posted a 194 kneeling, 198 prone and 194 standing. Junior Jaden Thompson was also strong on the day, scoring a 583 after a 192 kneeling, 197 prone and 194 standing.

Tucker, Shaner and Clark each made the smallbore individual final with Shaner and Tucker earning medals. Shaner took home the individual championship in smallbore with a 459.7 final score, while Tucker earned silver with a 459.2. Clark finished eighth with a 404.0. Tucker and Shaner were neck and neck heading into the final shot with Shaner earning a 9.8 to claim the top prize. Alaska-Fairbanks’ Rylan Kissell finished with bronze. This was the second straight season that a Wildcat has taken home the top smallbore honor as Tucker won the prize last season.

Alaska-Fairbanks sits in second following the first day of competition with a 2351 team score. They are followed by TCU in third with a 2350, while host Air Force was fourth at 2342. Ole Miss sits fifth at 2337, while Murray State is sixth at 2326, West Virginia seventh at 2320 and Navy eighth at 2303.

Kentucky, which is currently ranked second nationally has won the national title three times – 2011, 2018  and 2021 – with six runner-up finishes.

For more information on the Kentucky rifle team, visit UKathletics.com or follow UKRifle on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Saturday, March 12, Air Rifle, Clune Arena
11:15 am ET – Relay 1
1:15 pm ET – Relay 2
3:30 pm ET – Individual air rifle finals
Awards: upon completion of finals


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