A year ago, we were celebrating the results of London and the 2012 Olympic Games. This year, there may be less to celebrate but highlighting organizational successes is an opportunity to pay tribute to those making a difference for USA Shooting.
You can’t reflect on 2013 without noting the significant accomplishments of our junior team members who stepped forward to have an impact across all levels of our sport. These juniors are rising out of the USA Shooting clubs, Certified Training Centers (CTCs), SCTP, NRA, NCAA Rifle and other allied organization programs.
“These programs have been a focus of ours throughout the year, with an emphasis on the grassroot efforts that go on to ensure USA Shooting maintains its level of success,” said USA Shooting CEO Robert Mitchell. “Within these pathways of excellence, it is vital to give credit to those having the greatest effect on performance. It’s even easier, when at the end of the year, the results reflect excellence in every case.
Junior shooters earned six of the eight medals at the 2013 World Clay Target Championships including two Jr. World Champions, a Jr. World Champs silver medalist, one team gold medal and two bronze medals.
Top junior performances at the World Championships have been a staple of the U.S. Team. Since 2010, U.S. junior teams competing at World Championships have been supported with the generous donations of the Dallas Safari Club (DSC). The DSC has provided USA Shooting with grant support for international competitions, generally to support our junior teams to World Championships (with the exception of 2012 where the grant monies went to the pre-Olympic training camp). This year, DSC approved a grant of $30,000 to support USA Shooting’s Junior Shotgun Team in Peru. The additional support has paid off with junior team athletes accounting for 10 individual and 10 team medals during that time along with 25 top-10 finishes.
Junior shotgun shooters also had a big impact domestically too. One-third of all medals won at the Spring and Fall Selection as well as the USA Shooting National Championships were won by junior competitors including four overall champions. Breakout performers included Ashley Carroll (Solvang, Calif.), Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.), TJ Bayer (College Station, Texas), Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pa.), Brandy Drozd (Byran, Texas), Robert Johnson (Phoenix, Ariz.), Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas), Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) and Miranda Wilder (Diana, Texas).
High junior marks weren’t isolated to shotgun. Pistol shooter Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.) became one of the youngest National Team members in the history of her discipline after her results at the National Championships. Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.) was a freshman last year at the University of Kentucky, but through his dedication and the coaching of Wildcat coach Harry Mullins has risen to the ranks of National Champion. His Kentucky teammate Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pa.) also made the National Team. It is the commitment and development of these rising stars that will be on the podium at future world championships and Olympic Games.
Off the firing lines, USA Shooting enjoyed a successful 2013 as well highlighted by the significant upgrade to the USA Shooting Center with the addition of electronic targets by Megalink and other enhancements that elevate our range to the level it needs to be at to accommodate world-class shooters and competitions. These upgrades were made possible by the wonderful support of our members, sponsors and those within the shooting sports industry as the USA Shooting Team Foundation helped raise over $84,000 in support of the project.
“It’s important to recognize both the individual achievements while at the same time celebrating the organizational factors that come into place to allow those successes to transpire in the first place,” Mitchell added. “We’re incredible lucky to have an organization with both the grassroots opportunity that exists and the partnerships and industry support necessary to ensure that opportunity can flourish.”
2013 USA Shooting Highlights
- USA Shooting athletes won a total of 26 medals in 14 international competitions
- Glenn Eller’s World Record 146 at the World Cup Ain & his World Championships Title
- Cory Cogdell’s Equalled World Record 75 at the World Cup Granada
- Vincent Hancock’s 250-straight during Spring Selection Match
- Junior World Champions Ian Rupert & Miranda Wilder
- World Championships Silver Medalist Dania Vizzi
- Emil Milev’s World Cup Finals gold medal in Rapid Fire Pistol
- Eight World Clay Target Championship Medals
- USA Shooting’s 10-meter Range Upgrade
- Biennial Coach College & Conference
- Addition of three Certified Training Centers (CTCs)
- Increased event participation at all USA Shooting events
- Successful Introduction of the 10.9 Holiday
- Development and roll-out of the 2016 brand “Rio In Sight”
- First dual, concurrent venue Progressive Position Pistol National Championships
- Development and publishing of the first online basic training course for Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol
- Honoring Pat Spurgin Pitney and Walter Walsh with induction in the International Shooting Hall of Fame
USA Shooting’s Year In Pictures (2013) — http://www.flickr.com/photos/usashooting/sets/72157638830717816/show/
Logo courtesy USA Shooting