Friday, August 10, 2018

Shotgun Athletes Open World Cup Season  


Women's Trap medalists

Women's Skeet medalists

Men's Skeet medalists

Men's Trap medalists


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado  – More than 200 athletes weathered four days of competition, 250 targets and a Final in each of the Shotgun disciplines at the Summer Selection Match that concluded today at the Hill County Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas.

This match selected the Shotgun athletes who will compete in the first two International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cups of the 2019 season in Acapulco, Mexico and Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Not only was this match an important training opportunity for the athletes who qualified to compete at the ISSF World Championship later this month in Changwon, South Korea, but the World Cups will also be another opportunity following the World Championship for athletes to earn valuable Olympic Games individual quotas (Trap Mixed Team quotas are only available at the World Championship in Changwon). An Olympic quota is essentially a country’s ticket to compete in a specific event in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Some athletes shot more than 500 targets over eight days to earn a slot in multiple disciplines next year. Winning gold in Women’s Skeet and a silver in Women’s Trap was six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode. Rhode (El Monte, California) announced after her gold-medal win in Women’s Skeet at the World Cup last month in Tucson, Arizona that she was training to compete in Trap in addition to her signature Skeet event.  Rhode didn’t disappoint, finishing with the highest Qualification score in both events (246/250 in Skeet and 226/250 in Trap). In Skeet, she also won the Final to get an additional three points added to her total for 249, but even with her fourth-place finish today in the Trap Final, she still finished in second place overall with a final score of 226. (Three points was added to Qualification scores for first place, two for second and one for third in each Final).

These World Cups won’t be the first time Rhode has shot multiple events. Three of her Olympic medals (gold medals in 2004 and 1996, as well as bronze in 2000) were won in her initial event of Double Trap. At the 2012 Olympics, she qualified to compete in Trap and Skeet. She won gold in Women’s Skeet in 2012 setting multiple records, but also finished in ninth place in Women’s Trap.

Rounding out the top three in Women’s Skeet was National Junior Olympic Shooting Champion (NJOSC) Austen Smith taking the silver, and Rhode’s World Championship teammate Amber English (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Colorado Springs, Colorado) winning the bronze. While Smith’s second-place finish in the Final landed her safely in the silver spot on the podium, English had to fight through a shootoff with Sam Simonton (Gainesville, Georgia) andCaitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) for the bronze medal. In the end, English hit both of her shootoff targets to win, with Simonton finishing in fourth place and Connor finishing in fifth.

Top honors in the Women’s Trap competition went to Kayle Browning (Wooster, Arkansas). Entering the Final, Browning shared the top score after Qualification with Rhode of 226. She also won today’s Finals winner, garnering her the additional three points for the selection win. Taking bronze was 13-year-old Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee). Garrison won NJOSC earlier this summer and is the reigning Junior National Champion. At 13, she’s also the youngest person to ever compete for USA Shooting on a World Championship Team as she’ll do later this month in Changwon, South Korea. Garrison finished in second place in Qualification with 224. Following the Final, she was tied in selection points with Aeriel Skinner (Jackson, California) so the bronze medal was decided in a shootoff. Skinner missed the target and Garrison hit one to earn the bronze medal and Skinner finished fourth.

In Men’s Skeet, two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) won gold, two-time Olympian Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) won silver and Josh Raley (Gretna, Louisiana) won bronze.

Hancock and Thompson went one-and-two throughout the match, with Hancock winning the Final and finishing Qualification with the top score of 247. Thompson finished Qualification in second with a score of 245 and took second to Hancock in the Final by one target. Raley finished Qualification in third with a score of 244 and finished sixth in the Final, but he had enough of a lead that he landed in the bronze position. The World Cups next year will be Raley’s first in the ISSF circuit.

The Men’s Trap side saw Glenn Eller winning gold today (USAMU/Katy, Texas), as well as some blasts from the pasts with their returns to international competition in Brian Burrows (Fallbrook, California), who took the silver and Alex Rennert (USAMU/Surfside, Florida) who took bronze.

Eller finished atop Qualification with 239 and won the Final to easily win gold. Burrows shared the second position with a score of 237, but his third-place finish in the Final was enough to earn him the silver medal. Rennert, who had the lowest Qualification score in the Final of 235 finished second in the Final to give him two additional points and the bronze medal. Burrows hasn’t competed in a World Cup since the 2016 Olympic test event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rennert will make his World Cup debut in 2019.

The Shotgun athletes to compete at the rest of the World Cups next year will be selected at the Spring Selection Match in 2019, date and location to be determined.

Skeet Results:

Trap Results:

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Jessica Delos Reyes