Davis shoots for, wins gold

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By Josh Cook

Shelbyville’s Connor Davis added another award to his ever-expanding trophy case Tuesday.

The 2012 Shelby County High School graduate and University of Kentucky freshman won the gold medal in the National Junior Olympic men’s 10-meter air rifle competition at the 2013 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Davis shot a 593 on the first day of competition, which put him in second, but scored 591 on the second day to take a 2-point lead on University of Alaska-Fairbanks shooter Ryan Anderson.

Davis held onto the lead in the finals, shooting a 102.1. He finished with 1285.1 points, edging Anderson by 1.5 points. Tyler Rico, the 2012 champion and an Air Force cadet, took third, 6.2 points behind Davis.

“Connor has great spirit and a work ethic to be envied,” said Amy Sowash, a National Development team athlete and UK rifle team assistant coach, in a press release. “As a native Kentuckian, we are so proud he represents UK. He lives on the range and thrives on the excitement of competition, which I think is his greatest strength. With big dreams and the heart to back them up, Connor will be able to go as far as he wants in this sport. He’s also a model teammate and training partner. We are lucky to have him.”

It’s just the latest achievement for Davis, who has enjoyed a fantastic freshman year at UK.

In March he finished fourth in the air rifle competition, and helped the Wildcats to a runner-up finish, at the NCAA Championships and was a named first-team All-American in air rifle and was a second-team selection in the smallbore.

“I’m very proud of Connor,” UK head coach Harry Mullin said on the school’s athletics website. “He is very talented and this is just another example that goes to prove his capability in air rifle. He’s been working hard and it’s always great seeing hard work pay off.”

Davis will next compete for Team USA in the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup May 5-12 in Fort Benning, Ga. Then he’ll compete in another World Cup match in Munich, Germany in late May.