Mary Tucker scores a perfect 600 in air rifle and hits NCAA record 1195 aggregate
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The No. 1 University of Kentucky rifle team got a brilliant performance Saturday from sophomore Mary Tucker, who recorded a perfect score of 600 in air rifle and shot a NCAA record 1195 aggregate score, to propel the Wildcats to their third-straight win in the annual Kentucky Long Rifle Match over No. 6 Murray State and No. 16 Morehead State.
Flawless is the only way to describe Tucker’s performance Saturday. The native of Sarasota, Florida, started her day with a career-high tying 595 in smallbore and then posted the perfect 600 in air rifle. The perfect air rifle score is the first this season nationally and the first in UK’s storied history. The two high marks gave Tucker the record 1195 aggregate score. The high aggregate scores bests UK’s previous school-record aggregate of 1194, which Henrik Larsen recorded for Kentucky in his historic 2017-18 season.
“I am so excited for Mary today,” UK head coach Harry Mullins said. “That was a great performance, and she deserves the reward of that score for the work she has put in. She has been pushing for that 600 for some time and to see her break through was exciting.”
As a team, the Wildcats performed well across two relays to earn a team score of 7057, defeating Murray State (6975) and Morehead State (6931). UK scored a 3512 in smallbore and 3545 in air rifle, while the Racers posted a 3444 in smallbore and 3531 in air rifle followed by the Eagles with a 3421 in smallbore and 3510 in air rifle.
The match utilized a unique format aggregating the scores from six shooters, instead of the five designated squad members for smallbore and air rifle commonly used within NCAA competition. The scores from the five squad designees were still recorded from this match for NCAA qualifying purposes and the Wildcats tabbed a 4720 team score with that format.
“Overall, I thought that we had a good day coming of the performance at Murray State last weekend,” Mullins said. “I felt we had a chance to get some more points in certain areas, but we fought very hard today. It was good to see Emmie get a personal best in smallbore. We will get back to work next week to close out the fall at Navy.”
Junior Will Shaner finished second overall individually, shooting a 590 in smallbore and 593 in air rifle. Junior Richard Clark had a great match Saturday, scoring a 581 in smallbore and 593 in air rifle, while senior Hailee Sigmon posted a 582 in smallbore and 590 in air rifle. Sophomores Jaden Thompson and Emmie Sellers performed well with Thompson scoring a 1170 aggregate with a 581 in smallbore and 589 in air rifle. Sellers set a career-best mark in smallbore with a 583, while she scored a 580 in air rifle.
Senior Mason Joachim, junior Mitchell Nelson and sophomore Mason Hamilton all competed in the match. Joachim scored a 575 in smallbore and 577 in air rifle, while Nelson posted a 577 in smallbore and 588 in air rifle. Hamilton scored a 569 in smallbore and 580 in air rifle.
The match brought together the three NCAA Division I rifle programs from the Commonwealth as Kentucky is the only state in the country with three collegiate teams. The Wildcats were awarded the "Kentucky Long Rifle" trophy for winning the match, which has been hand engraved to honor all the teams involved. This is the third year of the Kentucky Long Rifle with Kentucky having won each season.
UK will conclude its fall slate next Saturday as it hits the road for a match at Navy. The Wildcats will then break until the winter season begins.