Guadalajara, Mex. In the second day of shooting events at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Emily Caruso (Fairfield, Conn.) broke away from the competition with 396 match points equaling a Pan American record set by fellow competitor Eglys Cruz from Cuba. Cruz entered the Women’s 10m Air Rifle final with 394 points in second place, but was ineligible for the much-desired quota as she had already won her quota at the 2010 CAT Games. With that, Caruso had a three point gap between herself and the rest of the competition. Teammate Meghann K. Morrill (Boerne, Texas) shot 391 points to enter the final in the fifth position.
Halfway through the final, Caruso fired a 9.6 point shot that drew a negative reaction from the crowd. “I was mad, I was the only person they booed-they cheered for other 9s and 8s. I think I proved them [the crowd] wrong on the next shot with a 10.9.” She claimed the gold and second Women’s 10m Air Rifle quota with 101.8 points in the final for a new final Pan American record. “It always feels good to win, and it was a fight until the end. It’s a huge relief to win this quota and I’m really happy that we are now able to send a full team this quad,” said Caruso. Morrill shot her way up one position in the final to finish fourth overall with 492.6 total points. The silver medalist was Eglys Cruz from Cuba with 497.3 total points and Rosa Pena of Mexico finished with the bronze at 494.7 total points.
Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas) and Jonathan Hall (Carrollton, Ga.) saw the stars and stripes raised high not just once but twice in Men’s 10m Air Rifle. Rawlings, a Corporal at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU), won the gold medal and set a Pan American record with 595 match points and 101.7 points in the final for 696.7 total points. Rawlings had previously set the record at the 2007 Pan American Games. Hall kept the pressure on Rawlings as he fired 594 match points with 102.6 points in the final for 696.6 total points for the silver medal. Gonzalo Moncada finished with 688.9 total points for the bronze medal.
Since Rawlings had already won a quota at the 2010 CAT Games, he was ineligible for another but teammate Hall pocketed the quota for the American team. Rawlings commented, “I’ve been training hard and working towards this all season long. I’d like to thank the USAMU and Team USA for their support.” Just a tenth of a point separated the competitive
Americans, yet they established themselves as the top contenders by over seven points. Hall, the quota winner, said, “I came here for the quota and I’m proud to bring it home to my country. Mexico has been an amazing host country and these Games will be a fond memory. This is one step closer to achieving my Olympic dream and I’m grateful to USA Shooting and my family for helping me on my journey.” The Americans will now carry a full air rifle team to the London Olympic Games. Please navigate to the official Pan American Games website for complete results. Live streaming of the Pan American Games can be found at http://bit.ly/q4UwBR and http://es.pn/mW8QeW. For updates and news, please visit USA Shooting’s Website, Facebook and Twitter.
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 and on Twitter at twitter.com/USAShooting.