LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Rifle program will begin its NCAA Championship defense as the No. 3-ranked team in the country as the Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association’s preseason poll was released this week.
“It is always an honor to be ranked this high before the season starts,” Head Coach Harry Mullins said. “We are working very hard in the preseason to live up to this ranking. I think this year we will see some really special things from a lot of teams and people around the country. It will be one of the tightest races to the finish in a long time.”
Point totals were awarded in reverse order 20 points for a first-place vote, 19 points for second, etc. This year they used a place holder score, last year’s three match qualifying score, as each team’s first score until they shoot their first match. As the CRCA has done in the past, fall semester ranking will be based on a team’s highest score from the last weekend shot. The ranking week will run Monday – Sunday. The December 15 ranking will begin to use the three match score qualifying numbers.
West Virginia begins the season as the top-ranked team, TCU is No. 2 and then Murray State (No. 4) and Ohio State (No. 5) round out the top five.
The Wildcats will kick off the season on the road with a Great America Rifle Conference match on Oct. 6 at No. 7 Nebraska before returning home to the Buell Armory on Oct. 13 for a tri-match with in-state foes No. 4 Murray State, who finished fourth at last season’s NCAA Championships, and No. 17 Morehead State.
UK will get the spring season started by hosting No. 14 Akron on Jan. 19.
This season’s GARC Championships will be in Akron, Ohio, on Feb. 22-24. West Virginia and its new range will play host to the 2018 NCAA Championships on March 8-10.
For the latest on the Kentucky rifle team, follow @UKrifle on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at UKathletics.com.