Wildcats Shine in Smallbore, Defeat Navy, North Georgia Saturday
Wildcats Shine in Smallbore, Defeat Navy, North Georgia Saturday

Wildcats Shine in Smallbore, Defeat Navy, North Georgia Saturday

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky rifle team put together its best performance of the season, scoring a school-record tying team score in smallbore to earn a victory over Navy and North Georgia on Saturday.

Saturday’s competition was spread across two relays with Navy and Kentucky in the first relay and North Georgia and Kentucky in the second relay. All competition took place inside the UK Rifle Range inside Barker Hall.

Kentucky earned a school-record tying 2360 in smallbore and 2382 in air rifle for a 4742 team aggregate total. The aggregate score is the second-highest score in program history. Both totals were season highs for the Wildcats. The smallbore team score was the fifth-best in the nation this season as UK is one of only three teams to score 2360 or higher in the discipline, joining Alaska and TCU.

“I really like what I saw overall today,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “The first relay really performed well and set the tone in both disciplines. Will had a great day and so did Mitchell, Sophia and Richard. I am happy that we are starting to see some of the things that we are working on everyday transition into competition. We will get back to work this week before a really challenging match next weekend in Morgantown.”

Super seniors Richard Clark and Will Shaner, seniors Jaden Thompson and Emmie Sellers and freshman Sofia Ceccarello competed in the first relay with super senior Mitchell Nelson, senior Mason Hamilton, sophomores Kayla Kalena, Tori Kopelen and Allison Buesseler and freshmen Martin Voss and Anthony Hotko competed in the second relay.

Shaner, Ceccarello, Clark, Buesseler and Kalenza were UK’s countable lineup in both disciplines. Shaner led all performers with a 1191 aggregate, posting a match-high 594 in smallbore and a 597 in air rifle. Shaner’s smallbore score ties the third-highest mark in NCAA competition this season, while his 1191 was the fourth highest. Ceccarello posted a 1190 overall with a 592 in smallbore and a match-leading 598 in air rifle. Clark performed well with a 1186 overall, earning a 591 in smallbore and 595 in air rifle. Buesseler posted a 583 in smallbore and 592 in air rifle for a 1175 aggregate, while Kalenza earned a 579 in smallbore.

Nelson had an incredible match scoring a career high in both disciplines with a 588 in smallbore and 596 in air rifle. Sellers scored a 1162 overall with a 576 in smallbore and 586 in air rifle, while Thompson posted a 575 in smallbore and 592 in air rifle for a 1167 aggregate. Voss scores a 584 in smallbore, 588 in air rifle and a 1172 aggregate. Kopelen scored a 584 in smallbore and did not compete in air rifle, while Hotko posted a 581 in air rifle, 567 in smallbore and a 1148 overall. Hamilton scored a 574 in smallbore, 583 in air rifle and a 1157 overall.

Navy competed in the first relay, scoring a 2325 in smallbore, 2365 in air rifle and a total aggregate of 4690. Stephanie Milvain led the team in smallbore with a 586, while Parker Haydin led the team in air rifle with a 595.

North Georgia scored a 2244 in smallbore and 2310 in air rifle for a 4554 overall. Alyssa Kiser led in smallbore with a 570 and in air rifle with a 585.

Kentucky will return to action next weekend at the WVU Fall Classic, competing against West Virginia, TCU and Alaska-Fairbanks. The competition will run both Saturday, Nov. 5 and Sunday, Nov. 6 starting at 10 a.m. ET each day. Live targets and a NCAA scorecard will be made available online at UKathletics.com.

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

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