Seventeen International Trap athletes secured their competitive futures through 2014 Sunday in Kerrville, Texas, site of the 2014 USA Shooting Spring Selection Match for Shotgun.  Beginning Thursday, the best skeet and double trap shooters in the nation get their chance.

The Hill Country Shooting Sports Center is playing host to the second half of the World Championship and Championship of the Americas (CAT) selection process, as well as select teams for the remaining ISSF World Cups in Almaty, Kazakhstan (May 16–25), Munich, Germany (June 4-14) and Beijing, China (July 1-10). The ISSF World Championships will take place in Granada, Spain September 6-20.

The top-three finishers at Fall Selection in Tucson, Ariz. have already earned trips to World Cup USA back in Tucson, April 8-15 and received points toward World Championships qualification. The event featured 250 targets over three days of competition and included one final for open and juniors. Athletes received an aggregate ranking based on two series of 125 targets each, plus Finals points.

To view the Selection Point Rankings following the 2013 Fall Selection Match, click here

Spring Selection and approximately 310 additional targets stand in the way of 18 more athletes (nine open, 9 junior) representing their country at the upcoming World Championships. The match features 250 targets thrown over two series (125 each), plus two finals after each series of 125 targets.

Skeet Fall Selection Champion Luis “Taz” Gloria (Tucson, Ariz.) will look to prove himself once again when he faces two-time Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.), 2012 Olympian Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.), 2013 U.S. Champion Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas) and two-time Olympic Trials finalist Mark Weeks (Clinton Township, Mich.) again, this time away from the confines of his home range.

The 19-year-old Gloria was by far the most inexperienced of the finals field in October, but he would enter the gold-medal final to face Perry after defeating Hayden Stewart (Columbia, Tenn.), 2-1, in a shoot-off after the two tied in the semifinal hitting 15/16 shots. He’d again nail 15 targets in the final to defeat Perry by one target.  Just six qualification points separate the top-six shooters heading into the match.

Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) outshot all competitors, male or female, by three targets missing just eight total following 280 shots over three days when she took the Women’s Skeet Fall Selection title back in October. She will have to defend her Fall Selection title from National and Qatar Open champion Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and fellow National Team members Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pa.), Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas) and Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa) who will look to medal this time around. They could also see strong competition from Junior Fall Selection Champion and World Championship Junior silver medalist Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.).

Glenn Eller will face two USAMU teammates, Jeff Holguin and Josh Richmond.
Glenn Eller will face two USAMU teammates, Jeff Holguin and Josh Richmond.

Headlining the Double Trap competition will be 2008 Olympic gold medalist, current World Champion and World Cup Finals silver medalist Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas) who has been on a hot streak and also won the Fall Selection match in Tucson, Ariz. back in October.

Probably the toughest competition Eller will face comes from USAMU teammates Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.).The three have had a decade-long stranglehold on both the World and U.S. Double Trap competition. Combined they’ve earned 15 World Championship medals, 27 World Cup medals and appeared in six Olympic Games. Junior World Champion and fellow National Team member Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) will be looking to challenge the Open Division as well and defend his Junior Fall Selection win.

These athletes will be looking to join these Trap counterparts already selected for international competition this year.

2014 World Championships Team

Women
Rachel Heiden
Ashley Carroll
Janessa Beaman

Men
Ryan Hadden
Seth Inman
Jake Wallace

Jr. Women
Amber Culwell
Samantha Smith
Katlyn Lawson

Jr. Men
Austin Odom
Garrett Beissner
Ryne Barfield

CAT Team

Women
Ashley Carroll
Janessa Beaman
Caitlin Weinheimer

Men
Ryan Hadden
Jake Wallace
Seth Inman

Remaining 2014 World Cups

Women
Victoria Burch
Susan Sledge

Men
Alex Rennert
Brian Burrows

Images courtesy USA Shooting

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