The University of Kentucky rifle team defeated No. 4 Alaska-Fairbanks 4705 - 4687 Sunday at the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range in Murray, Ky., breaking Murray State range records in total aggregate score and air rifle aggregate.
"Overall, not a bad day," UK head coach Harry Mullins said. "The match was very close. We left some points on the board in smallbore, our prone was a little down from where it has been but I was real proud of how the team responded in standing and then rounded out their scores in kneeling."
Senior Henri Junghänel led the Wildcats in smallbore, posting 590 of Kentucky's 2331 smallbore points. Fellow senior Heather Greathouse delivered a solid performance in smallbore, beginning the morning with a 586.
Ahead by just one point entering air rifle, Kentucky delivered one of its best team air rifle performances on the year. All five of Kentucky's counters shot a 591 or better, with the top-four performances making up the Wildcats' 2374 total air rifle score. As an individual, junior Aaron Holsopple broke into the 590s with a 590 in air rifle.
"We had all six shooters shoot a 590 or above in air rifle, it's always a good day when you have performance across the board like that," Mullins said. "Connor Davis had a solid day with his 597 in air rifle and Henri had a good day with a 590 in smallbore and 594 in air rifle for an 1184. That's a good day's work. I was proud of how Emily Holsopple bounced back and shot a 592 in air rifle."
Breaking the 4700 barrier for just the second time on the year, the Wildcats had to fend off a feisty effort from Alaska-Fairbanks. Opening the morning with a 2330 in smallbore, followed by a 2357 in air rifle, the Nanooks' total aggregate score of 4687 goes down as a season best for the team.
"Breaking 4700 is a good start to the spring semester," Mullins said. "Today was one of those matches that the opposing team gave it its all and I was very proud of the way our team responded and the effort they delivered. I think if we keep working on the pace we are currently then we may be able to add some points to the team score we shot today."
The Wildcats' win pushes them to 7-1 on the year as they prepare to travel to Oxford, Miss., next week to face Memphis and Ole Miss.