Alaska Nanooks rifle team member shoots perfect 600

A man in UAF blue and gold shooting team gear holds a competition rifle.
UAF photo by JR Ancheta
First-year student Rylan Kissell shoots during the Alaska Nanooks' match against Ole Miss on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, at the E.F. Horton Rifle Range in the Patty Center.

University of Alaska Fairbanks rifle team member Rylan Kissell shot a perfect score during a Saturday win over the Air Force Academy. Kissell’s perfect score was the second in the Alaska Nanooks’ history and the 15th in the entire NCAA’s. 

The Nanooks defeated the Air Force Falcons in matches at the UAF Patty Center’s E.F. Horton Rifle Range on both Saturday and Sunday.

"Today's match was validation that the team can consistently perform at this level," Nanooks head coach Will Anti said after Sunday’s victory. “One of the hardest things to do in sport is to follow up a great day with another, and today they succeeded."

The Nanooks defeated the Air Force Academy 4,749-4,714 on Saturday and 4,747-4,707 on Sunday.

At a rifle match, each team member participates in two events — air rifle and smallbore rifle —and a perfect score in each event is 600 points. Each team elects five counting scorers in each gun, and the top four performers have their points tallied for the team during the competition. So the maximum possible team score for a day is 4,800. 

"Rylan certainly was the individual highlight of the day, firing a perfect 600 with 57 Xs,” Anti said after Saturday’s match. “That's just sensational shooting. He's come very close many times, but to close the deal in a match says a lot about his grit and perseverance.”

Kissell also won Sunday’s air rifle competition with a 598. And he turned in the highest smallbore scores Saturday and Sunday.

“On a more personal note, his family was in Fairbanks with him this weekend so we are thrilled they got to celebrate that moment with him,” Anti said.

Kissell is a first-year student from Denver, Colorado.