Preseason poll ranks rifle at No. 2

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Story by Mark McFarland, Sports Editor

The Murray State rifle team was ranked No. 2 in the country in the annual preseason College Rifle Coaches Association poll, released Aug. 22.

The Racers finished third out of eight teams in the NCAA Rifle Championships. Head Coach Alan Lollar said the team takes it one shot at a time.

“Every week the only thing that we try to do is to train at as high a level as possible and to consistently carry the way we are training into matches,” he said. “The goal for us is to not treat a match any different than training. A shot is a shot anyway you shoot it.”

Murray State has one of the highest-ranked shooters in the country in junior Ivan Roe from Manhattan, Montana, returning this season. He was 1.5 points shy making the U.S. Olympic team and has led the team for the two years he has been apart of the rifle team. Lollar said it is always good having someone like Roe around.

“He is a hard worker,” Lollar said. “He is very intelligent. He goes about in a very precise, systematic way. He leads by example — it’s hard to be around Ivan and not work hard.”

The Racers will begin their season Sept. 25, hosting a match against UT Martin. Lollar said they will just take the season in stride and try to end up near the top.

“It’s a preseason poll and nobody has fired a shot yet,” he said. “It’s not where you start, it’s where you end up and we are a long way to March. We appreciate it, we are excited about it, we think it speaks to our potential, but we haven’t done anything yet.”