Double Trap dominance has been a staple for the USA Shooting Team. Sunday it represents the chance for redemption. Seeking its first World Championships medal of this World Championships, who better to throw out than the most dominant trio in recent history.
That is what’s at stake Sunday as the USA Shooting Team looks to gather momentum heading into the final six days of World Championships competition.
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) cover guys and Olympians Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas), Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania) and Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, California) will look to keep an impressive run going at Worlds. The Double Trap trio rarely visit any range in the world without prospecting some hardware having earned five of the 12 World Cup medals handed out this season. In 32 events since 2008, including Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup Finals and World Cups, an American has finished lower than sixth only six times. In the nine events since the disappointment in London where no American finished in the top-eight, only once [World Cup Cyprus] has an American finished lower than fifth. In that stretch, the U.S. team has earned eight medals. Since 2008, the U.S. Men’s Double Trap Team has won 21 medals in 32 events.
Good things are happening on the Junior side of Double Trap as well. World Junior Champion Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pennsylvania) along with Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana) 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 is the son of Francis Strodham, who earned her first World Championship team berth for trap 40 years ago and is a two-time World Champs bronze medalist (1981, 1985) in Women’s Trap.
Two competitions were contested Saturday including Men’s Three-Position Rifle where Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey) finished 19th with a 1170. Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska) continued to show his ability with a 25th-place finish with an 1168 while Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin) was 59th with an 1145.
Part one of two was contested in Men’s and Junior Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol Saturday. Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) was putting up the results he needed before his four-second series where he faltered a bit. He’ll need to shoot almost perfect to have a chance to advance to the final on Sunday. Brad Balsely (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) shot well with and was one-point behind Sanderson with a 286. Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Florida), had trouble adjusting to the light conditions on the range and struggled with a 49th-place finish.
In Junior Rapid Fire, Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida) sits in 14th position after a score of 279. Brian Kim (Los Angeles) was one point back in 19th position. Tony Chung (Diamond Bar, California) was in 29th position after a 261.
Also on the docket for Sunday is an elimination match in the non-Olympic event of 50-meter Women’s Prone Rifle. An Olympic event for men, Women’s 50m Prone is only contested at the World Championship. Representing the U.S. will be National Champion Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana), Reya Kempley (Carson City, Nevada)and Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington). Beard, Furrer and Sharon Barazani shot a combined Team score during the individual competition in 2010 that would have set a world record, however, team scores are determined during the elimination round and thus the team finished in fourth place.
The USA Shooting Team Junior Rifle Shooters get their first taste of competition Sunday with the Junior Women’s and Men’s 10m Air Rifle event featuring Sonya May (Rockland, Massachusetts), Dacotah Faught (Amenia, North Dakota) and Minden Miles (Weatherford, Texas) as well as Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Missouri), Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colorado), and Michael Steinel (Lowell, Ohio).
“I’m really excited to be able to represent Team USA for the first time at such a large international event,” said May. “To be on the world championship team is something I am sure I will be glad to recall upon in future years.“
“I am looking forward to representing the United States,” said Miles. “I have worked very hard the last couple of months preparing for the match. Since I have learned that my age could travel the world with other athletes of the same age it is all I have wanted to do. I have been given a very special opportunity in furthering my shooting career and represent the United States.”
Rifle events also move into the big caliber event of 300m where some familiarity exists in the prone competition that will be contested Sunday. The Army Marksmanship Unit will be well represented with Joe Hein (Mason, Michigan), Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin) and Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) all set to compete.
Image courtesy USA Shooting