Kentucky Wins Back-To-Back NCAA Rifle Titles

Led by Olympic medalists Will Shaner and Mary Tucker, Kentucky rifle wins 2022 NCAA Rifle Championship

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posted on March 12, 2022
2022NCAA Rifle 2
John Parker

Kentucky rifle won again at the 2022 NCAA Rifle Championship, held today at the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Clune Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After concluding the air rifle portion of the match, Kentucky added to the considerable nine-point lead (2360-144X) garnered during yesterday’s smallbore relays to finish with a team aggregate score of 4739 (air rifle 2379, smallbore 2360).

2022 NCAA rifle top three teams
The top three aggregate championship teams. Starting from the left: second-place Texas Christian University, winner Kentucky and third place Alaska-Fairbanks.

 

This marks the second consecutive NCAA rifle championship for Kentucky rifle, and the fourth title overall for the team under Head Coach Harry Mullins.

Leading the way for Kentucky were top scorers and Tokyo 2020 Olympic medalists Will Shaner and Mary Tucker. Shaner won yesterday’s smallbore rifle individual championship after making an incredible run in the final moving from fifth place to first, while Tucker secured the highest individual aggregate score at the match with 1191 (air rifle 598, smallbore 593), taking the runner-up spot in both finals for air rifle and smallbore. Additionally, Shaner finished second behind Tucker in the individual aggregate with 1187 (air rifle 595, smallbore 592).

Mary Tucker
While she had to settle for runner-up in both finals, Kentucky’s Mary Tucker was the top individual aggregate shooter at the match and also won the NCAA’s Top Performer award.

 

Another key shooter for Kentucky was Richard Clark, who regular Shooting Sports USA readers will remember shattered a national record last summer at Camp Atterbury during the 2021 NRA National Matches. This year at NCAA, Clark finished eighth in smallbore rifle qualification, earning a spot in the final with his score of 589-32X.

Air rifle shooters
Air rifle shooters on the firing line during the first relay.

 

Below is the top 10 individual aggregate leaderboard:

  1. Mary Tucker, Kentucky, 1191 (air 598, smallbore 593)
  2. Will Shaner, Kentucky, 1187 (air 595, smallbore 592)
  3. Daniel Enger, Alaska-Fairbanks, 1186 (air 597, smallbore 589)
  4. Kristen Hemphill, TCU, 1186 (air 597, smallbore 589)
  5. Scott Rockett, Air Force, 1185 (air 598, smallbore 587)
  6. Rylan Kissell, Alaska-Fairbanks, 1185 (air 594, smallbore 591)
  7. Kristen Derting, Ole Miss, 1185 (air 596, smallbore 589)
  8. Stephanie Grundsøe, TCU, 1185 (air 598, smallbore 587)
  9. Abby Gordon, TCU, 1184 (air 595, smallbore 589)
  10. Kellen McAferty, Alaska-Fairbanks (air 597, smallbore 586)

In addition, Scott Rockett of the match host Air Force rifle team won his first NCAA air rifle individual championship today after a thrilling final. More on his win to come in a later article.

Scott Rocket
2022 NCAA air rifle individual champion Scott Rockett during shooter introduction at today’s air rifle final.

 

Here is the team aggregate championship leaderboard:

  1. Kentucky 4739
  2. TCU 4736
  3. Alaska-Fairbanks 4733
  4. Ole Miss 4713
  5. Air Force 4712
  6. WVU 4700
  7. Murray State 4687
  8. Navy 4681
Clune Arena
The U.S. Air Force Academy’s Clune Arena was a solid venue for Saturday’s air rifle championship. The smallbore championship on Friday was conducted at the rifle range in the Cadet Gymnasium—an outstanding facility—but not exactly spectator-friendly.

 

You can view the full 2022 rifle championship results at the NCAA website. Stay tuned for more coverage and a full match report in a future issue of the digital magazine.

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