Sergeant First Class Daryl Szarenski (WCAP/Seale, Ala.) finished the Men’s 50m Free Pistol match in the same place he began it-first. Szarenski overcame a broken pistol and finished the match with his back up trigger. He finished nearly 12 points ahead of the competition in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Smallbore in Fort Benning, Ga.
Szarenski’s three-day total racked an impressive 1867.8 total points. With world-class scores of 562 and 559, this three-time Olympian is looking forward to preparing for London. “I’ve been having gun problems the past few weeks and thought I was ready with the right guns, but a screw came loose the first day in the preparation period for the match,” said Szarenski. “I had to tear the gun apart and tighten everything back up and it made me a little nervous, but I held it together and kept getting better. I would like to thank the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program in Fort Carson for supporting me and my wife Amy for standing by me and taking care of the ranch when I’m off shooting.”
Szarenski, who already earned a nomination to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team in Men’s 10m Air Pistol, will add another event to his Olympic program. As a result of such, Szarenski will double-start in London and the Men’s 50m Free Pistol quota will be used by teammate Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.).
Mowrer, a Resident Athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, was a little over one point behind 2008 Olympian Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.) headed into the final. Nailing ten after ten, Mowrer shot the highest final of the three-day match at 100.2 points to close the gap and finish second overall with 1855.5 points.
“Headed into the final, I knew I had to shoot hard and I just tried to put it all out there,” said Mowrer. “It was a pass or fail situation. I think it was my determination and discipline to get on the trigger early, align the sights and break the shot and that was my goal each shot. I did that plan to the best of my ability and it paid off. It’s just my job, it’s what I do, I guess it hasn’t set in yet because everyone keeps telling me I’m not excited enough, but it’s pretty awesome.”
With a Men’s 50m Free Pistol team including the likes of Szarenski and Mowrer, the USA will be well-represented in London. As daily training partners at the U.S. Olympic Training Center for nearly a year, Szarenski and Mowrer have a dynamic that can’t be beat.
“I’ve been training with him [Mowrer] for nearly a year and he’s been shooting some hard scores,” said Szarenski. “Actually in practice he’s been beating me and I’m like ‘I need to step it up.’ You can’t slack when the young guys beat you in practice; it definitely makes you pay attention.”
“I think that’s just it-he looks at me like that young punk and I look at him like that old man,” said a cheeky Mowrer. “We train well together and it will be very interesting building up to the Olympics.”
Beaman finished in third with 1852 points and John Zurek (Tucson, Ariz.) was fourth at 1847.6 points. 2008 Olympic Games bronze medalist and 2012 Olympic Team nominee Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) finished fifth in free pistol, but will represent the USA in air pistol in London. Sergeant First Class James Henderson (USAMU/Columbus, Ga.) was sixth with 1840.2 points and U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) shot 1839 points for eighth.
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Smallbore action continues tomorrow with competition in Men’s 50m Rifle Prone and Women’s 25m Sport Pistol. The first Men’s 10m Air Pistol match of the National Championships will also be held June 3.
2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials & USA Shooting National Championships Schedule
- June 3-4: Men’s 10m Air Pistol (Olympians decided in February 2012)
- June 3-4: Women’s 50m Rifle Prone (non-Olympic event)
- June 3-5: Women’s 25m Sport Pistol
- June 3-5: Men’s 50m Rifle Prone
- June 6-8: Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol
- June 6-8: Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position
- June 7: Women’s 10m Air Pistol (no Olympic quota)
- June 7-8: Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Olympians decided in February 2012)
- June 9-11: Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position
- June 10: Men’s Standard Pistol (non-Olympic event)
- June 10-11: Men’s Center Fire Pistol and Junior Men’s Sport Pistol (non-Olympic events)
- June 10-11: Women’s 10m Air Rifle (Olympians decided in February 2012)
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies and the local organizing committees. All athletes nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team must be approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee.