Kentucky rifle qualifies for NCAA Championships, eyes three-peat in Akron


Samuel Colmar

Kentucky Wildcats senior Emmie Sellers aims her rifle during the Kentucky vs. Morehead State rifle NCAA Qualifier on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023, at Barker Hall in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky finished with a 4716 qualifying score. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Aaron Benjamin, Reporter

The Kentucky rifle team qualified for the NCAA Championships after going through the qualifying meet on Feb. 18.

Kentucky’s seeding was announced on Monday afternoon during the NCAA Selection Show, with the Cats claiming the No. 5 seed.

With the announcement it is confirmed that Kentucky will be one of eight schools who will compete for a national championship from March 10-11 inside the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio.

The other schools who will be competing in the rubber capital are Air Force, Alaska Fairbanks, Murray State, Nebraska, Ole Miss, TCU and West Virginia. 

Kentucky has won three of the last five national championships with titles in both 2018, 2021 and, most recently, last year (2022).

“It’s always good to hear your name called and officially lock in your spot at the NCAA Championships,” head coach Harry Mullins said to UK Athletics.

Mullins was somewhat disappointed after the qualifying meet, believing his team could have scored higher.

“We didn’t post as high a qualifying score as we could have and hopefully our squad learns from some of the errors and we can get better over the next few weeks before the championships begin,” he said to UK Athletics. 

In the meantime, the Wildcats will look to take home a Great American Rifle Championship (GARC) title in Morgantown, West Virginia. The competition will begin on Saturday, Feb. 25, and carry over into Sunday.