March 8, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. - Two Ole Miss Rebels are in Columbus, Ohio this week preparing for the NCAA Rifle Championships, which will be held at the Converse Hall and French Field House on the campus of The Ohio State University.
Sophomore Abbey Stanec and senior Keely Stankey are set to shoot Saturday at the Championships. Both qualified as individuals, and will be competing in air rifle.
"I just want to see Abbey and Keely put their whole heart into this match and leave everything on the range," Rebel head coach Valerie Boothe said.
Saturday will mark Stankey's second NCAA Championships appearance. As a sophomore in 2010, she also competed as an individual in air and finished seventh among the field.
"I'm really happy and honored that I get to represent the University of Mississippi one more time before I graduate," Stankey said at the time of the NCAA announcement. "I was really excited with all the hard work I put in during the regular season and that it paid off."
Stanec will be making her first NCAA Championships appearance. She earned a spot in the Championships after producing a career-high 590 in air at the Rebels NCAA Qualifier match back on Feb. 18.
"It's pretty exciting," Stanec said at the time of the NCAA announcement. "I feel like I've worked pretty hard, and especially in air. I lost my grandpa this year and he was the one who got me involved in shooting, so it's been kind of a difficult year trying to get back into the swing of things. But I'm really glad that this is kind of the way to the end the season. I'm dedicating this season to him."
The NCAA Championships have a maximum 48 competitors. The eight teams that qualify consist of 5 person teams. If every team uses their maximum, it takes up 40 of the 48 spots, leaving 8 spots for the individuals. Individuals are selected based on their score during the designated qualifier from highest to lowest. Once the qualifying teams are determined, all of the individuals who contributed to getting their team to the championship are taken out of the mix making up the first 40 or less slots. Then the top individuals will fill up the remaining slots. In even numbered years the advantage goes to the smallbore discipline and in odd numbered years the advantage goes to the air discipline. The first individual slot goes to the top air rifle score for the 2012 Championships. Individuals are selected alternating between the two disciplines until all 48 slots are filled.