March 10, 2012
COLUMBUS, Ohio -
All-American Kelly Buck put the finishing touches on her Army collegiate career with a fourth-place finish in air rifle Saturday afternoon at the 2012 NCAA Rifle Championships. The senior, who shined in both disciplines throughout the meet, led the Black Knights to a fourth-place showing in the team standings at the conclusion of the meet hosted by Ohio State.
Army compiled a 4658 aggregates score following a sixth-place finish in air rifle (2333) the final day after placing second in smallbore (2325) the opening day.
Buck fired a 590 in air rifle to place sixth in the relay scoring, trailing by three points the winning score of 593 recorded by Sarah Scherer of TCU and Petra Zublasing of West Virginia.
Qualifying for the individual finals for the second straight day, Buck moved up two spots in placing fourth with a 691.7 for her highest finish in that discipline at the NCAAs following ninth and 11th place finishes in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Buck took fifth in smallbore in the individual finals the opening day after winning the tie breaker over Zublasing. Over her four-year career, the native of Reading, Mass.,has placed among the individual finalists (top eight) three times in smallbore and once in air rifle.
Sophomore Richard Calvin just missed qualifying for the individual finals in air rifle after placing ninth with a 589. Classmates Joseph Todaro (574) and William Mengon (580) rounded out Army's four-man unit that combined for a 2333 in finishing sixth after winning the tie breaker over Kentucky.
Overcoming a five-point first day deficit following a third in smallbore, TCU won air rifle the final day en route to claiming its second National Championship in three years. The Frogs edged West Virginia, 2353-2350 for the air rifle title en route to compiling a 4676.
Army trailed Kentucky and Alaska-Fairbanks, who posted 4661 scores, by three points in the battle for second place. The Wildcats won the tie breaker in besting the Nanooks for the silver with the Black Knights taking fourth in rounding out the top half of the eight-team field.
UTEP (4648) led the way in the bottom half followed by West Virginia (4647), Jacksonville State (4645) and Nevada Reno.
"Overall it went well at the championships," stated Army head Ron Wigger after leading his squad to its highest finish (Black Knights were eighth last year, fifth in 2010 and sixth in 2009) since claiming runner-up honor in 2008.
"Kelly picked up a pair of awards after finishing in the top six in both events (fourth in air rifle and fifth in smallbore). Heading into the second relay, Army was tied with TCU after smallbore and the first relay of air rifle with two shooters to go."
It was Army's ninth straight trip to the NCAAs and fourth straight for Buck.