It’s a harsh reality in this sport when even you shoot your best and fate still is at the hands of wind and fractions of an inch. The history books won’t accurately reflect how well Reya Kempley performed in the Women’s 300-meter Prone Rifle event of the 2014 World Shooting Championships.
Three shots she wishes she had back during her match Wednesday made for an entirely different outcome than she probably deserved. Good enough for fifth place for the Nevada native, but entirely too close not to be unnerved by the near proximity of earning a medal against the world’s best. Charlotte Jakobsen of Denmark took the gold, followed by Germany’s Eve Roesken and Estonia’s Anzela Voronova. Germany’s Sandra Georg finished fourth.
Over a two-day, 120 shot stretch that included an elimination match and today’s qualification, Kempley (Carson City, Nevada) shot a combined score of 1184, highest among all competitors. She finished first in Tuesday’s elimination by three targets. During that same two-day span, she also buried 64 center 10s (53 percent of shots taken). However, today’s score of 590/600 left her three points out of the medals despite having two more center 10s than the rest of the field as well.
Two other times this World Championship has a similar fate been met by the rifle team. Amy Sowash (Richmond, Kentucky) finished one point out in Women’s 50-meter Three-Position. Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin) was .3 points away from a spot in the finals of Men’s 50m Prone.
Erin McNeil (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) was ninth in the competition, shooting a 589. Also in 300m Standard Rifle competition on the men’s side, Joe Hein (Mason, Michigan) was 12th.
Men’s and Junior Men’s Skeet competition got started today with the first two rounds (50 targets) in breezy conditions. The great news is that all of the U.S. men in the open division are still well in contention with Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) is in with a 49 after rounds of 24 and 25. Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas) and Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) each missed a target in both of their rounds to come in at 48. Just five competitors shot a perfect 50 on the day, a testament to the tough windy conditions the field faced. Nine men are tied with Hancock at 49 and another 19 sit at 48 with Perry and Thompson.
On the junior side, Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas) was perfect on the day, one of just three juniors to do so. One competitor is at 49 and then a pack of six others at 48. Jungman’s teammates didn’t find the conditions as easy with Christian Elliott (Greenwood, Indiana) and Luis “Taz” Gloria (Tucson, Arizona) struggling to a pair of 43s.
Skeet competitors will be back out on the range Thursday for another 50 targets before the final round and finals on Friday.
Other action on Thursday will include competition in Junior Women’s Three-Position Rifle as well as an elimination match in that same event for the Junior Men. Competing for the U.S. in junior women will be Lauren Phillips (Seabeck, Washington), Sonya May (Rockland, Massachusetts) and Lorelie Stanfield (Fairbanks, Alaska). Stanfield was a fourth-place finisher in the Junior Prone event earlier this week.
Stepping to the line for the Men’s Rifle will be Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colorado), Lucas Kozeniesky (Southern Pines, North Carolina) and Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Missouri). Other men’s rifle events include action in Men’s 300m Three-Position.
In Pistol, competition begins in Men’s 25-meter Center Fire Pistol as well as Junior Men’s 25m Sport Pistol. Firing shots in Center Fire is the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) contingent of Brad Balsley (Uniontown, Pa.), Michael Gasser (Columbus, Georgia) and Greg Markowski (Columbus, Georgia). Junior Sport competitors include Brian Kim (Los Angeles, California), Tony Chung (Diamond Bar, California) and Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida). Chichkov will look to add to his World Championships experience already having won a World Title Wednesday in Standard Pistol.
Logo courtesy USA Shooting