Peiser Wins Air Rifle Silver, Kentucky Finishes 4th Overall

Peiser Wins Air Rifle Silver, Kentucky Finishes 4th Overall

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Freshman Braden Peiser continued his impressive stretch of performances by winning the air rifle individual silver medal as the University of Kentucky rifle team completed competition at the 2024 NCAA Rifle Championships in fourth place overall.

Peiser was the star again for Kentucky on Saturday, scoring an air rifle score of 599, which was a new career high and the second best score on the day. The high score helped him finish with the third-highest all-around score of the championships at 1188 and earn a spot in the eight-person air rifle final. Peiser shined in the final, finished second with a score of 251.2, just .5 behind the gold medalist.

Peiser made all four individual finals he had a chance to compete in this season, finishing third in smallbore and first in air rifle at the GARCs. This weekend, he made both the air rifle and smallbore final, finishing sixth in smallbore Friday.

Kentucky scored a team score of 2380 in air rifle, which was the third-highest air rifle team score at the event. Adding UK’s 2338 smallbore score from Friday gave Kentucky a 4718 team aggregate score, which was good for fourth place and just one point from finishing on the podium. TCU won the national championship with WVU finishing second and Alaska Fairbanks joining them on the podium at third.

“Proud of the team for a great season,” said head coach Harry Mullins. “It was a very competitive field from top to bottom and we fought hard today. Just a few points here and there kept us from being on the podium, but that is how it works and what makes the sport so fun. Emmie and Jaden have meant so much to this program and I loved being able to hug them and thank them after their last shots today. We will work hard this offseason to get ready for what should be another exciting season in 2024-25.”

Fifth-year senior Emmie Sellers scored a 595 in air rifle to finish second on the UK team. She earned an aggregate score of 1178 for the championships to complete her collegiate career. Sophomore Sofia Ceccarello posted a 593 in air rifle for a 1181 aggregate for the weekend. Junior Allison Buesseler also scored a 593 in air rifle and had a 1171 aggregate. Fifth-year senior Jaden Thompson completed her collegiate eligibility with a 590 in air rifle and a 1167 aggregate for the championships.

Kentucky, which qualified fourth for the eight-team event, has won the national title four times – 2011, 2018, 2021 and 2022 – with six runner-up finishes. Last year, UK finished third overall marking the fourth time in the last five championships UK has finished on the podium for event. That does not include the 2020 Championship, which was canceled due to COVID-19. UK, which was hosting the national event that year, was undefeated and seeded No. 1 overall before the event was canceled. Overall, UK has 23 top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships, including six runner-up honors.

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

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