Haley Dunn. Photo Lynne Green.
Vincent Hancock left London with his second gold medal and already has his sights on Rio 2016. Photo John David Mercer/U.S. Presswire.
Haley Dunn picked a fine time to mark her return to the competitive shotgun ranks this week while Vincent Hancock's competitors probably wish he'd think about putting the gun up for awhile himself. With wins today in a windy, cold final day at the 2012 Fall Selection Match in Kerrville, Texas, Dunn has re-emerged on the skeet stage while it was business as usual for Hancock.
Taking time away from a competitive career that saw her win both a World and Junior World Title and spots on 10 National Teams didn't seem to have much ill-effect on Dunn. She started the fall selection match in first and never wavered. She would stagger just a bit in the day's first round Sunday morning hitting 22/25 targets only to rally with a strong finish with 25 and 24 for 265 overall. Stepping away from competition to devote time to the Gold Medal Shooting Academy in which she serves as the Director of Operations and Master Instructor, Dunn seems intent on competing against the nation's best skeet shooters for the foreseeable future.
USOTC Resident Athlete Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, La.) nearly caught Dunn. Connor missed just two targets in the final day's competition and ended up in second at 264 targets. Reigning National Champion Jaiden Grinnell (Port Angeles, Wash.) also had difficulty in her first round with 21 targets, but recovered to end up in third at 262 overall. She was followed by Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas) and Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) at 258 and 256 targets respectively. Morgan Craft (Hughesville, Pa.) was sixth with 255/275 targets.
Given the distractions of winning her fifth consecutive medal with gold in London, Rhode's results aren't completely surprising given the demands of her post-Olympic media and sponsor blitz.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.) was near perfection as he missed only two targets over three days of competition. Hancock's misses occurred during the first 100 targets, and he finished with a straight 175-even through the final for a total of 273/275.
"This was a great match for me. I had high expectations for this competition but with as little training as I got before the match, my main goal was to go out and have fun," said Hancock. "My wife Rebekah and my youngest daughter Brenlyn were here so it was nice to spend some time with them and still get to shoot a great score. I'm looking forward to another solid year in 2013 and my sights are on Rio 2016!"
Olympic teammate Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.) earned second place with 269/275 overall. Thompson dropped one target on his first round today, but held strong to maintain his lead gained yesterday. TJ Bayer (College Station, Texas) was the closest to the Olympic duo that has been tearing up the Men's Skeet scene. Bayer shot 265 targets to edge out Jon Michael McGrath (Tulsa, Okla.) by two targets. McGrath lost two targets in his 10th round and one in the final for a total of 263. U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) Resident Athlete BJ Blanchard (Vidor, Texas) dropped in the standings with 21 targets in his first round of the day to finish fifth with 262 targets. Hayden Stewart (Columbia, Tenn.) of the National Junior Shotgun Team was a target behind with 261 overall.
The USAS Fall Selection Match continues October 12 with the Men's and Women's Trap competition as more than 115 shooters are set to compete. USA Shooting will preview that match on Wednesday, October 10.
For complete results and rankings, please visit iclays.com.
2012 USA Shooting Fall Selection Match SCHEDULE
Friday, October 12 M/W Trap (100 targets)
Saturday, October 13 M/W Trap (100 targets)
Sunday, October 14 M/W Trap (50 targets + final)
For complete results, go to www.usashooting.org
or check out Facebook or Twitter.
Winchester Ammunition is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team: Winchester® Ammunition has been the exclusive ammunition sponsor and supplier of the USA Shooting Shotgun Team since 1999. Members of the past two shotgun teams brought home a combined six medals from London and Beijing using Winchester AA International Target loads. Winchester is an industry leader in advancing and supporting conservation, hunter education and our country's proud shooting sports heritage. For more information about Winchester and its complete line of products, visit www.winchester.com
About USA Shooting:
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at www.usashooting.org
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Hill Country Shooting Sports Center, Inc.
The Hill Country Shooting Sports Center, Inc., is an official United States Olympic Training Site, and includes opportunities for athletes to participate in Olympic and Paralympic shooting programs. Conveniently located on 140 acres just outside of Kerrville in Central Texas, this facility currently provides a training and competition venue for National shotgun teams and U.S. Olympic Hopefuls. Venues for training U.S. Olympic Hopefuls for Rifle and Pistol are currently being added. The Center offers International Trap (Bunker) ; International Skeet, American Singles & Doubles Trap, American Skeet, NSCA & charity Sporting Clay tournaments; practice 5 Stand, & a 100 yard Rifle & 25 yard Pistol Public Range.