Known for his expressive allegiance of the Florida Gators while on the range, Alex Rennert (Surfside, Fla.) will now be known for just a little more after the biggest victory of his career Monday during the 2013 Fall Selection Match at the Tucson Trap & Skeet Club in Tucson, Ariz.
Rennert, who shoots most matches sporting a Gator visor complete with that omnipresent Gator orange fake hair, has created a formidable collegiate trio with Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.) and Tyler Froeba (Jacksonville, Fla.) and are quickly making the Sunshine State one of shotgun prominence within the USA Shooting ranks. Vizzi is the reigning Junior Olympic champion in skeet and recently returned from the World Clay Target Championships having earned a World Junior Championship silver medal.
Already a National Junior Team member, Rennert’s progression in the international bunker discipline of shotgun, has been nothing short of remarkable in 2013. He took fifth in junior competition back during the May Spring Selection Match, finished second in the NJOSC to earn his USA Shooting Team nomination, and backed that up with a second-place finish among juniors at the USA Shooting National Championships. Now, the junior Florida Gator will end the 2013 competitive shooting season as a champion among a talented field in Tucson.
His rise to be among the top players in the sport has been as unlikely as perhaps his win was today. The new International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules with “0” start finals have been both friend and foe to competitors throughout their inaugural season and today was no different. Ryan Hadden (Pendleton, Ore.) showed his love of the Tucson range once again through three days of competition with six perfect (25/25) rounds of the 10 rounds contested to build a four-target advantage at the end of qualifying with a score of 242. Trailing him would be his teammate Seth Inman (Independence, Mo.) while reigning two-time National Champion Brian Burrows (Fallbrook, Calif.) was in third place. Rennert would qualify in fifth position with a 230, placing him ahead of the sixth finalist Anthony Matarese, Jr. (Pennsville, N.J.) and just behind Jake Wallace (Castiac, Calif.).
Burrows and Rennert would advance to the gold-medal match in the 15-shot semifinal, while Hadden would have to settle for a shoot-out with Wallace only after winning a shoot-off with Matarese. Rennert would top Burrows on the fourth shot of a shoot-off for the title after both hit 13/15 shots. Hadden would salvage some hardware after topping Wallace 13-12 in the 15-shot medal match. Matarese finished fifth overall while Inman would sink to sixth.
The stakes are high for this event with 2014 World Cup selection and World Championships qualifying status on the line. Top finishers will earn the right to earn a return trip to Tucson where they’ll compete for Team USA during the 2014 Tucson World Cup, April 8-15.
On the women’s side, the qualifying leader would prove to be the overall winner and for Rachael Heiden (Clinton, Mich.), it is a position she’s becoming more and more familiar with. Heiden’s earned three of the last four U.S. National titles and was a finalist at the 2013 World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico, and the recent World Clay Target Championships. She adds a Fall Selection Match title to her blossoming career after defeating a staunch field that included two-time Olympian Corey Cogdell (Eagle River, Alaska) and Ashley Carroll (Solvang, Calif.), who had earned victories at the two previous Selection Matches.
Heiden’s wire-to-wire win was almost disrupted by Kayle Browning (Wooster, Ark.) who found her old form in time to almost knock Heiden from her perch. After each shooting 12 of 15 targets in the semifinal, the two would go to a shoot-off with Heiden advancing after a 3-2 decision. The recently engaged Heiden, would next square-off against Carroll in the gold-medal match and would again be forced to earn the victory with a shoot-off after each competitor broke 12 targets in their matchup. Heiden would a capture a win after Carroll would miss on her third target. Susan Sledge (El Cajon, Calif.) would earn the bronze medal after defeating Browning, 11-10, in their medal match. After shooting an eight of 15 in the semifinal, Cogdell would be forced to settle for fifth while Kimberely Bowers (Lafayette, Calif.) finished sixth overall and was the Junior Champion.
Fresh off a historical performance at the 2013 World Clay Target Championships in Lima, Peru, the men of Double Trap take the stage in Tucson next. World Champion Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas) and Junior World Champion Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) along with a powerful lineup of capable shooters including Olympians Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.) will battle over two days for autumn supremacy.
For complete 2013 Fall Selection Match results in Trap, click here: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/2013_SG_FS/2013_SG_FS_-_Trap_Scores.xlsx
Image courtesy USA Shooting