Your 2021-22 Kentucky Wildcats rifle team has won the NCAA National Championship! The event took place in Clune Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
This marks the fourth title for head coach Harry Mullins, putting him in a tie with Adolph Rupp for the most NCAA titles a UK coach has won. Mullins and Rupp are also the only coaches in the state of Kentucky’s history to win three or more Division I national championships.
Mullins has been a part of the UK rifle team since 1982, first as a student-athlete, then as the leader of the program since 1987. He’s the longest-tenured UK head coach, having just completed his 35th season.
“I am very proud of the team and so happy to be bringing the national championship trophy back to Lexington,” Mullins said in a press release. “For them to post that high smallbore score yesterday and follow it up with another great all-around performance today was impressive. Mary, Richard and Will each did their job in the first relay of posting high scores to set the tone. Then Allison was just fearless in the final relay to bring home the high score and secure the win.
“Although five athletes came with us to Colorado Springs, this championship was a team effort that could not have been achieved without all nine athletes on the team, our amazing assistant coach Rena Curvey and some fantastic support staff. Thanks to everyone and can’t wait to show off this trophy to Big Blue Nation.”
This is also a second-straight championship the rifle Cats have claimed. The other two titles came in 2011 and 2018.
UK has now won three of the last four titles and were the undefeated favorites in 2020 when the championships were canceled due to COVID-19. The four national titles are third-most in NCAA history.
The Wildcats recorded a 4739 team score, which is the best team score at the NCAA Championships in the 60-shot era. The previous best was UK’s 4731 it scored to win the title in 2021.
The Wildcats were in a great position to earn the title after a 2360 smallbore team score Friday. The Wildcats shot a 2379 air rifle Saturday for the win.
2022 NCAA RIFLE CHAMPIONSHIPS TEAM STANDINGS
1. Kentucky, 4739
2. TCU, 4736
3. Alaska Fairbanks, 4733
4. Ole Miss, 4713
5. Air Force, 4712
6. West Virginia, 4700
7. Murray State, 4687
8. Navy, 4681