Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) was unnerved on his final shot and the result was a win and an Olympic quota to start things right for the USA Shooting Team competing at the Championship of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico. Brown becomes the first rifle and/or pistol athlete for the USA Shooting Team to earn an Olympic quota.
Down .3 of a point going into the his final shot of the Air Pistol finals and with an Olympic quota on the line, Brown, the 2013 World Cup USA gold medalist, calmly stepped forth, put aside all the distraction being generated from the Cuban entourage cheering on Cuban shooter Jorge Grau, and shot a 10.2. Grau would follow with a 8.8, providing all the satisfaction to Brown and his USA Shooting teammates.
All three American men advanced to the final with U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) sharpshooter James Henderson (Midland, Georgia) tying for first with Brazil’s Julio Almeida in qualifying. Henderson would settle for third in the final, unable to register a 10 on any of his last four shots. Also, making final and finishing sixth was 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner (Rochester, New York).
On the women’s side in Air Pistol, Teresa Chambers (Dearborn, Michigan) advanced to the finals as the third best qualifier and finished seventh overall, while 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) finished ninth, one point out of a position in the finals. Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas) finished 14th.
Nine other possible Olympic quotas remain available with the remainder of the 15 Olympic events still to be contested. No quotas are available for Double Trap, or either of the two women’s shotgun events in Guadalajar. Quotas are only being distributed to event winners. The U.S., thanks to Josh Richmond and Brandy Drozd victories at the recent World Championship, has secured two other Olympic quotas to date. The CAT Games feature 426 athletes competing from 24 nations including 63 USA Shooting Team members. Earning a quota in competition ensures the country a spot in that particular event, not necessarily the athlete. Athletes earn the available spots via a point and trials system established by USA Shooting.
On Tuesday, the Championship of the Americas will feature competition in Men’s and Women’s Air Rifle. Heading to the line for the U.S. Men will be 2014 National Champion Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska), 2013 National Champion and 2014 NCAA Rifle National Champion Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Kentucky) and National Team member Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota). Also, shooting for Minimum Qualifying Scores (MQS) will be Olympic Training Center Resident athletes Tom Csenge (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Maryland).
Women’s competitors include National Team athlete Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) along with 2014 World Shooting Championships Junior Air Rifle finalist and Texas Christian University freshman Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas) and 2013 National Junior Olympic Champion Meredith Carpentier (Waukegan, Illinois). Shooting for MQS scores will be National Team athlete Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pennsylvania) and 2009 Junior Olympic champion Emily Quiner (Brooklyn Park, Minnesota).
For rifle/pistol results from the Championship of the Americas, click here: http://results.sius.com/Events.aspx?Championship=11thChampionshipoftheAmericas20141011GuadalajaraMEX.
Image courtesy USA Shooting