Shaner, Tucker lead Kentucky to weekend rifle wins


Kentucky Rifle

Barkley Truax

What a weekend it was for Kentucky Rifle.

Kentucky won their Long Rifle Event over Morehead and Murray State with a score of 7059 on Saturday. Murray State would nab a 7022 while Morehead State finished third with 6980. Fast forward less than 24-hours later and the Cats would pick up another victory over the Memphis Tigers 4717-4658.

“It’s always tough to compete back-to-back days, but I was happy with how the team battled today,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said after Sunday’s competition against Memphis. “We obviously left a few points out there in smallbore, but they regrouped and fought hard to put up a good number in air rifle.” 

Olympic medalists Will Shaner and Mary Tucker were back in blue this weekend after competing in an international competition in Poland last weekend. Tucker was the Long Rifle Event’s top performer with a 1190 aggregate that featured a 593 in small bore and a 597 in air rifle. She was also Sunday’s second best shooter with a 581 in smallbore and 597 in air rifle for a 1178 overall aggregate.

Shaner on the other hand, compiled the top smallbore score (594) in the Long Rifle Event. The same score in air rifle gave him a 1188 aggregate. His smallbore score was his highest of the season and ranked as the second highest score in the nation this season. He also finished Sunday with a 1185 (589 smallbore, 596 air rifle) aggregate. 

The Long Rifle Event uses a unique format where they aggregate the scores from six shooters instead of the five designated squad members for smallbore and air rifle typically used within NCAA competition.

Kentucky’s 7059 score saw the team total a 3516 in smallbore and 3543 in air rifle. Murray State finished second featuring a 3489 in smallbore and 3533 in air rifle for a total aggregate of 7022. Morehead State placed third with a 3446 in smallbore, a 3542 in air rifle for their 6980 total. 

“This was a great match. All three teams performed at a high level today,” Mullins said Saturday. “I was very happy for the team in how they handled some of the struggles today. We still have a lot to work on, but I think we saw some really good things today.”

Kentucky used that momentum the following day, scoring a 2338 in smallbore and 2379 in air rifle against Memphis. Memphis would total a 2315 in smallbore and 2343 in air rifle for their 4658 aggregate.

“We know what we have to work on this week in training and will look to complete the fall season on a high note next Saturday against Akron,” Mullins said.

Kentucky will be back against inside Barker Hall one last time this fall as they round out their fall season against Akron this Saturday. Admission is free for the event to watch the reigning national champions one last time in 2021.