UK Rifle team signs top Shooters

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A year removed from a second-place finish at the NCAA Championships, the Kentucky rifle team has signed two distinguished shooters to national letters of intent for the 2010-11 season, it was announced by UK head coach Harry Mullins Wednesday.

"We are very excited to welcome Henri and Emily to the Kentucky rifle family," Mullins said. "They are two of the top shooters in the nation this year and they will have wonderful careers at Kentucky. Both have the experience and talent to step in and have an immediate impact on our program next year."

Kentucky signed a member of the German National Team, Henri Junghaenel, a highly recruited prospect. Junghaenel, a native of Breuberg, Germany, has competed in three World Cup competitions, most recently tallying a 595 in air rifle in the World Cup in Beijing, making the finals and shooting a 101.7. A well-rounded shooter who is strong in both air rifle and smallbore, Junghaenel shoots for the club SV Rai-Breitenbach.

"Henri is a very balanced shooter," Mullins said. "He will bring a tremendous amount of international experience that will greatly enhance our program. He is a very mature and focused individual. He will make a strong impact on making our goals next season."

The Wildcats also signed Emily Holsopple, a decorated shooter from Wilcox, Penn., who is a member of the USA National Development Team. Holsopple has competed in several international competitions for the United States, recently winning the smallbore competition at the Olympic Hope Match in the Czech Republic, an event UK senior Tom Csenge won a few years ago. She has placed high in many junior competitions the past few years, including a third-place finish in smallbore and a fourth-place showing in air rifle at the 2009 Junior Olympics. Holsopple is coming off a win in the junior category at the Dixie Double competition in Anniston, Ala., shooting a 591 and a 592 in air rifle.

"Emily is a very balanced shooter," Mullins said. "She is strong in both air rifle and smallbore and is considered to be one of the top prospects in the nation coming out of high school. With her past success, competitive drive and knowledge of the sport, it will add strength to our lineup right from the start. Emily will help fill the void that we will have with our four seniors graduating. She will make a great addition to our program.

"I really like the attitude of both of our new shooters; I feel that they will enhance our program. We think this is a good start to replacing the four seniors that we have graduating. They have tremendous spirit and drive and their knowledge of the sport is great and they have a hunger to learn more. With both shooters having advanced knowledge of both smallbore and air rifle, they will impact the lineup right away."

Despite a strong outing from freshman Katie Fretts and senior Ashley Jackson, the second-ranked Kentucky rifle team suffered a 4691-4642 loss at No. 1 West Virginia, the defending NCAA Champion, last Saturday at the WVU Rifle Range. Kentucky (5-2) wrapped up its fall season with the match and will next compete against Army in West Point, N.Y., on Jan. 21.

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