The 2012 U.S. Olympic Team gained the experience of veteran talent Glenn Eller (USAMU/Katy, Texas), who earned his way onto his fourth Olympic Team Saturday outlasting the field in Men’s Double Trap. Eller topped U.S. Army and Beijing Olympic teammate Jeff Holguin(USAMU/Yorba Linda, Calif.) to receive his Olympic nomination at the Tucson Trap & Skeet Club (TTSC).
The reigning Olympic gold medalist in the event, Eller will team with 2010 World Champion and U.S. Army teammate Josh Richmond(USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pa.) to form one of the top Double Trap pairs shooting in London. Richmond didn’t compete this week as he had already qualified for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team after his outstanding shooting the past two years.
With a finals round 49/50, Eller out-distanced Holguin by six targets with an overall score of 609 after 650 total targets between this match and a 2011 Fall Selection Match that was included in the scores. Billy Crawford (Johnstown, Ohio) finished third overall with a 601. Derek Haldeman(USAMU/Sunbury, Ohio), 584, Christian Wilkoski (Centerburg, Ohio), 543and Kelcey DePatis (Donovan, Ill.), 538, round out the top six finalists.
“I feel great about it,” said Eller afterwards. “Not many people get to go to one Olympics let alone four, so it’s an absolute honor. It’s getting harder the older I get.”
Eller’s struggles to get back to London are well documented. Losing that competitive fire after his gold medal, Eller’s problems were compounded last year when his competition shotgun was lost en route to a March 2011 International Shooting Sports Federation World Cup event in Chile and has yet to turn up. He switched to a new gun, manufactured by Beretta, but even then the road back almost didn’t happen given that until March the U.S. hadn’t secured a second Olympic quota spot in Eller’s event.
“After the gold medal there’s nowhere to go but down so I fell, stumbled and hung around down there for awhile and slowly eased my way back, but that’s what it’s all about though,” he said. “Now, I have the opportunity to go back and win another one.”
photos: USA Shooting