Peiser’s Big Day Leads Kentucky to 4730 NCAA Qualifying Score

Peiser’s Big Day Leads Kentucky to 4730 NCAA Qualifying Score

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Behind a career day from freshman Braden Peiser, who posted career high scores in both smallbore and air rifle, the University of Kentucky rifle team posted a 4740 team score at its NCAA Qualifier on Saturday with Morehead State, finishing the regular season with a strong score heading into postseason play.

Kentucky started with a 2347 in smallbore and followed with a 2383 in air rifle to post the strong team score. Saturday’s NCAA qualifying score is the last factor determining the field for the 2024 NCAA Rifle Championships. Each team’s three score aggregate average – the score based on each team’s highest three regular season scores fired at three different locations – has already been recorded. This weekend’s qualifier score will be added to that average. The teams with the eight highest combined scores will qualify for the NCAA Championship. The NCAA Rifle Selection Show will be Monday at 6 p.m. ET on NCAA.com.

UK’s three scores it will count as part of its NCAA Qualifying score are its 4745 in Alaska, an impressive 4732 fired at Army and its 4727 vs. Morehead State in the season opener. The impressive scores placed UK third in the NCAA qualifying standings at the beginning of the weekend. Adding its qualifying score, UK has a 9464.67 and will await final results around the country.

Morehead State also competed at the qualifier, shooting a 2291 in smallbore and 2349 in air rifle for a 4640 NCAA Qualifying score.

“What a great Saturday in the range honoring Jaden and Emmie and putting together a good score in the process,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “Jaden and Emmie are such great parts of this program and always will be. They are done with us yet and have hopefully two more matches to compete as Wildcats. I thought Braden was terrific today, two huge scores to really boost us. Overall, we were better today top to bottom and did some good things. Looking forward to another week of training and getting after it next weekend at the GARC Championships..”

The match was shot across one relay Saturday, starting with smallbore and concluding with air rifle. In smallbore, Kentucky posted a 2347 and was paced by Peiser, who scored a career-best 593 in the discipline. Peiser shot an impressive 197 standing to finish off the strong score. Sophomore Sofia Ceccarello posted a strong 589 in smallbore, followed by fifth-year seniors Emmie Sellers and Jaden Thompson, who scored 586 and 579, respectively. Sophomore Martin Voss scored a 578 to round out the UK rotation, while junior Allison Buesseler posted a 576.

In air rifle, Peiser led the way again with a career-best 598, followed by Ceccarello at 597 and Sellers at 595. Thompson posted a 594 in the discipline with Buesseler earning a 593. Voss wrapped up the relay with a 589.

Peiser was the star of the match overall, scoring a 1191 aggregate, which was career high and one of the best aggregate score in the nation this season. Peiser is one of just five athletes in the nation this season to post an aggregate of 1191 or higher.

Freshman Emily Marne competed Friday for Kentucky as part of the match, shooting a 566 in smallbore and 570 in air rifle.

Morehead State was led in the match by Bryce Ward, who posted a 577 in smallbore and 589 in air rifle for an aggregate of 1166. Hayden Bell posted a 577 in smallbore and 585 in air rifle.

Kentucky will return to action next weekend in the Great America Rifle Conference Championships. The two-day event will be hosted by Army in West Point, New York. Smallbore competition begins Saturday with air rifle concluding the event Sunday. Live targets and a live NCAA Scorecard will be 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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