Kentucky win 2022 GARC Tag Team Championship – UK Athletics

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WEST POINT, N.Y. — Needing a big score in the final air rifle stint, University of Kentucky rookie Allison Buesseler posted a career-high 598 to give Kentucky just enough to winning the 2022 Great America Rifle Conference Championship on Saturday in West Point, New York.

The Wildcats won the title with an air rifle team score of 2,383 in addition to Friday’s small-bore team score of 2,352 for an overall total of 4,735. The championship is Kentucky’s second in the past three seasons after the Wildcats also won the 2020 crown. This is Kentucky’s seventh all-time GARC Championship title.

West Virginia finished second in the event with a team score of 4732, earning an air rifle team score of 2387. Ole Miss was third at 4717, while Navy was fourth at 4707 Akron was fifth at 4696, the Host Army sixth at 4686, Memphis seventh at 4670 and North Carolina State eighth at 4667.

The two-day event began Friday with small-bore relays and ended Saturday with air rifle relays. An individual format eight finalists followed by a small caliber and an air rifle.

“I am so excited that our team can celebrate this championship together today,” said British head coach Harry Mullins. “Allison Buesseler had an amazing weekend and I’m so proud of her development and performance. The entire range performed well overall. We know we still have areas to improve and we will work on them over the next two weeks before heading to the NCAA Championships.

Buesseler’s strong air rifle score took her and senior Will Shaner to the individual air rifle final where Shaner placed fourth and Buesseler won the championship title. Buesseler shot a 252.0 in the final, 1.2 points better than silver.

Kentucky got top-to-bottom contributions to the lineup on Saturday. After Buesseler and Shaner scored 598, junior Mary Tucker posted a 594. Senior Richard Clark scored a 593 while junior Jaden Thompson scored a 592. The other five Wildcats who were not on the roster also competed on Saturday with impressive scores, including a 596 from junior Emmie Sellers and 585 from senior Mitchell Nelson. Junior Mason Hamilton and freshmen Kayla Kalenza and Tori Kopelen each fired air rifles on Friday. Hamilton and Kalenza fired small arms on Saturday, scoring 584 and 582 respectively.

Buesseler, Tucker and Tal Engler and West Virginia’s Akihito Shimizu each posted 1,187 aggregate scores over the weekend to split the combined title. Shaner finished ninth overall at 1182.

After the GARC Championships, Kentucky will compete in the NCAA Rifle Championship. The national event will take place March 11-12 inside Clune Arena at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The individual and small-bore team competition is scheduled for Friday, March 11 while the air rifle competition will take place on Saturday, March 12.

For more information on the Kentucky Rifle Team, visit UKathletics.com or follow UKRifle on Twitter, instagram and Facebook.


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