The Murray State rifle team will compete in its 34th NCAA Championship Friday and Saturday at Memorial Coliseum on the campus of Kentucky in Lexington. MSU currently has the second second-most championship appearances all-time, following West Virginia which leads the way with 37 all-time championship selections.
This marks the sixth straight trip to the championship for the Racers, finishing third in 2016 and 2017 and fourth in 2018 and 2019. Murray State has not finished in the top two since 1988 when it completed a four-year stretch of winning the national title in 1985 and 1987 and finishing as runners-up in 1986 and 1988. In addition to its eight top three finishes, MSU has finished fourth 10 times, fifth nine times, seventh twice, eighth three times and ninth once.
Season In Review
The Racers qualified for the 2020 championships in dramatic fashion by entering the qualifier ninth and leapfrogging three other schools with a qualifying match score The Racers aggregate average on the year of 4659.2 was 10th nationally, while its smallbore and air rifle of 2305.5 and 2353.6 were 11th and eighth, respectively.
Freshman Matias Kiuru currently leads the Racers with the 10th best smallbore average in the nation at 1177.4, while his air rifle average of 593.4 ranks seventh. The Finnish native also leads his team in aggregate scoring at 1177.4, which is currently the sixth best average in the nation.
Host Kentucky enters the championship as the one seed based on the four-score qualifying system, while TCU currently leads the nation in aggregate scoring at 4712.7. The Horned Frogs also lead the nation smallbore average at 2335.7, while UK leads in air rifle at 2377.2. Individually, Kentucky’s Mary Tucker leads the way in all three categories nationally with a 590.7 smallbore, a 597.8 air rifle and a 1188.5 aggregate average. Other teams competing in this weekend’s championship Air Force, Akron, Navy and Nebraska.
Parker Griffith – Athletic Media Relations Assistant (FB, Rifle, WBB)Murray State University