UAF athlete qualifies for U.S. Olympic shooting team

Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2000

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Melissa Mulloy's Olympic dreams came true Friday when the University of Alaska Fairbanks senior qualified for the U.S. Olympic shooting team in the sport rifle three-position shoot.

Mulloy, a member of UAF's NCAA national championship rifle team for the past two years, was the third qualifier for the U.S. team.

''It's kind of exciting, but it really hasn't sunk in yet,'' Mulloy told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

Qualifying for the Olympic team was based on a combination of each shooter's scores from last week's USA Shooting National Championships in Atlanta and from the earlier spring trials.

Mulloy said her scores had been off a bit and she wasn't aware that she'd made the team until her name was announced at the awards ceremony Friday evening.

At 22, she is one of the youngest qualifiers on the shooting team, but several more events are scheduled before the national championships conclude July 1.

Mulloy has been working toward the Olympics since school started last fall, UAF athletic director and rifle coach Randy Pitney said.

''She's done everything right in her preparation and if you prepare right, good things will come to you,'' Pitney said. ''She's a very collected and focused individual. She set her mind on this, had a plan of action and articulated it perfectly.''

UAF sophomore Matt Emmons just missed making the men's air rifle team, finishing just two points behind Ken Johnson for the second and final slot.

Emmons still has a chance to qualify for the team in the small bore and small-bore English events. He is ranked in the Top 10 in both events heading into the national championship matches in the next few days.

UAF's Kelly Mansfield also is in the running to earn a spot on the U.S. team.

Mansfield, who just completed her senior season, is in third place heading into the air rifle trials that begin Sunday. Mulloy is in sixth place.

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