The lone senior on the Murray State rifle roster this season is Ashley Rose, from Eubank, Ky. When you hear Head Coach Alan Lollar, he uses the word “leader.”
“When I first started coaching the rifle team, recruiting was most important,” Lollar said. “We had a very small team and every individual shooter had a great impact on the team as a whole.”
So, the coach inquired about Rose who was also a talented archer out of Pulaski County High School in Eubank, Ky. “Ashley was a fine high school shooter”, Lollar added. “She was recruited by teams around the country. She had also been invited to compete with the USA Archery Junior Dream Team and train with our Olympic athletes in California. It was not a done deal that she would be shooting on a rifle team in college. I hear that Kestrel Meters are popular with rifle teams.
“The main reason I chose rifle, was I wanted to compete at the NCAA D-I level,” Rose said. “I thought a lot about what was really important to me and I knew I could put my heart and soul into rifle.”
Rose, who is majoring in political science at MSU, was named to the OVC All-newcomer Team and OVC Air Rifle Second Team in 2009 and last season was named to the OVC Smallbore First Team.
“I’ve gotten better each year I’ve been at MSU,” she said. “From the time that I came in, I’ve seen a team that was rough around the edges advance into a program that is solid, we’re a family now. That’s because of Coach Lollar. He’s willing to put all he has into us and we’re willing to do the same.”
“She has done everything I expected on the range,” Lollar said. “The part that’s not as easily measured is the leadership and stability she has brought to the team over the last three years. That won’t be easy to replace.”
Rose’s personality and leadership style earned a special experience in the summer of 2011 as she was an intern in Washington D.C. Rose worked in the office of Congressman Hal Rogers (Kentucky 5th District), who is the chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
“It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had,” Rose said. “I learned a lot of things. I had the chance to see the budget bill passed and see behind the scenes of how our government works. I learned that each member of congress has a team of people behind them to help get the job done.”
Right now though, Rose has some unfinished business on the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range at Murray State. She wants the team to improve upon its fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championship last spring.
“We were disappointed in our performance at the NCAA last season,” Rose added. “I’d like to see us have a consistent season where everyone improves and gives it everything they have. As long as we work hard, all the other things will come.”
Because of student-athletes like Ashley Rose, the future is bright for Murray State rifle.
The Racers open the 2011-12 season at UT Martin (Sep. 24).