As the Spring Selection match came to a close today in Kerville, Texas, eighteen Skeet and Double Trap athletes earned their spots to compete at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Championships in Granada, Spain September 6 -20.
The Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas played host to the cold and windy second stage in a two-part qualifier that began last fall at the Fall Selection Match. Selection was on the line not only for the World Championships, but the Championship of Americas (CAT), 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). Trap teams were named earlier in the week, learn more about them here: http://www.usashooting.org/news/2014/3/16/491-twelve-athletes-earn-their-way-to-shootings-big-dance
In Men’s Double Trap, the three Open Division World Championship positions all went to U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit teammates Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas, pictured), Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.). The trio earned the top-three positions over the two-day, 300-target course of fire at this match and were also leading in the selection points from the Fall Selection Match in Tucson, Ariz. late last year. All three also qualified for the Finals each day to earn additional selection points. Reigning World Champion Eller won Saturday’s Final and though Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) won today’s Final, the additional selection points earned were not enough to break the top-three-positions.
World Junior Champion Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.) along with Dale Royer (Jackson, Mont.) and Christian Wilkoski (Centerburg, Ohio) will represent the U.S. in Double Trap in the Junior Division at the World Championship. Rupert and Wilkoski were teammates on the Junior Double Trap team that took the team gold medal at the World Clay Target Championships in Lima, Peru last year.
Royer’s showing at this Match rocketed him into a position on this World Championship team. Royer finished second in qualification both days with 140 targets Saturday and 122 today. The additional selection points he earned by winning Saturday’s Final and finishing second in today’s Final were enough to land him in second-place overall. Royer is also the son of Francis Strodham, who earned her first World Championship team berth for Trap 40 years ago.
Heading to World Championships for Men’s Skeet will be Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas) and Olympians Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.) and Olympic gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.). Hancock led the first two days of qualification with 121/125 targets and won the day’s final to garner an additional 10 points. Perry was the leader in qualification the final two days with just one miss for 124/125 targets and finished in second place during the first Final behind Hancock – these points, combined with those earned at Fall Selection put him in first place overall. Thompson was able to grab the final position with the additional 10 selection points earned by winning today’s Final.
On the Junior Men’s Skeet side, Fall Selection winner Luis “Taz” Gloria (Tucson, Ariz.) will be joined by Christian Elliott (Greenwood, Ind.) and Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas). Gloria and Jungman were teammates on the Junior Men’s Skeet team that won a bronze medal at the World Clay Target Championships in Lima, Peru last year.
The Women’s Skeet Open Division team will be represented by Olympic gold medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.), Brandy Drozd (Bryan Texas) and Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa).
The trio entered this match leading in selection points from Fall Selection. Dunn and Rhode were then tied after the first part of qualification for first place with 122/125 targets. Rhode and Drozd were then tied for first in the second part of qualification with 120/125 targets. Points earned from leading these days, along with the additional points Drozd earned for winning the Final Saturday and finishing second in today’s Final solidified each shooter’s position on the World Championship team.
Though Drozd was the top Junior Woman as well, since she earned a spot on the Open team, the Junior team slots went to the next three highest finishers. The U.S. will be represented in Junior Women’s Skeet by Junior World silver medalist Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.), Hannah Houston (Columbia, Tenn.) and Sydney Carson (North Liberty, Ind.).
The top-three finishers at Fall Selection in Tucson, Ariz. already had earned trips to the upcoming World Cup USA back in Tucson, April 8-15 and received points toward World Championships qualification. The event featured 250 targets for Trap and Skeet over three days of competition and included one final for Open and Juniors, 300 targets over two days of competition and one final for Open and Juniors for Double Trap. Athletes received an aggregate ranking based on two series of 125 or 150 targets each, plus Finals points.
For Skeet results, click here: http://iclays.com/scores/scores2826.html
For Double Trap results, click here: http://iclays.com/scores/scores2846.html
For selection points, click here: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Match_Results/Copy_of_SS_Shotgun_Points_Kathy_03_23_14.xls
World Championship and CAT Teams
Men’s Double Trap
Junior Men’s Double Trap
Junior Men’s Skeet
Luis “Taz” Gloria
Junior Women’s Skeet
Image courtesy of ISSF/Marco Dalla Dea