March 8, 2006
OXFORD, Miss. - The Ole Miss rifle team heads to Colorado Springs, Colo. for the program's first ever appearance at the NCAA Championships.
"I can't explain what this means for our players and our program," said Ole Miss head coach Valerie Boothe, who is the only head coach in Ole Miss rifle history. "The girls worked so hard all year, and I am proud of them for reaching their goals."
Ole Miss will join Alaska-Fairbanks, Kentucky, Murray State, Navy, Nebraska and defending national champion Army, at the United States Olympic Training Center beginning March 10, for the two-day event.
"It is an honor to be included with this group of programs," said Boothe, who also serves as the chairperson of the NCAA Rifle Committee. "This group represents the last seven national champions and we are very excited to compete with the best in the nation."
The Rebels had a banner season in 2005-06, setting team meet records for aggregate scoring (4666), air rifle (2344) and smallbore (2325). Senior Samantha Leach set a new school record in the individual smallbore (587) and sophomore Shannon Wilson tied junior All-America Jennifer Lorenzen's school record in the individual air rifle (590). Ole Miss also won its first-ever NCAA Sectional.
"We had a great year," said Boothe. "All of the girls worked hard on improving their shooting and it showed in our results this season."
Senior Samantha Leach was also selected to compete as an individual in the air rifle competition and she will join the team in Colorado Springs.
"We are very excited to be competing in our first Championships," said Boothe. "Now we must go prove that we belong."
Head Coach Valerie Boothe