Colorado Springs, CO -(AmmoLand.com)- As the World Cup season hits its middle point for the USA Shooting Team, the competition returns home to the United States as the 2015 USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle/Pistol (USASNC) kick off at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Fort Benning, Georgia, June 24 – July 1.
Athletes will be vying for National Team selections, Performance Standard Scores (PSS) and selection to the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan.
Coming off recent back-to-back World Cup golds in Fort Benning and Munich, rifle shooter Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wisconsin) earns the biggest spotlight heading into Nationals. After claiming a quota in Prone, McPhail will look to gain more experience and Olympic points from both USASNC and at the 2015 Pan American Games in early July. Also winning multiple World Cup medals so far this season, including gold in Changwon, Korea for Prone, is Matthew Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey). Emmons looks to gain Olympic points for the Prone and Three-Position events at USASNC. So far in this World Cup season, every Prone gold has been won by Emmons and McPhail.
After claiming the sole Women’s Air Rifle quota in Fort Benning, Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) seeks to continue her recent success at USASNC and gain momentum towards the final World Cups of the season. The Women’s Rifle competition will be intriguing to see how it unfolds with the mix of veteran talent and the emergence of teenage sensations like Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) and Sarah Osborn (Hampton, Virginia). Marsh, 17, swept both rifle events during the recent National Junior Olympic Championships and previously won the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships earlier this year. Osborn, 16, was second at the 2014 Winter Airgun Championships and has the experience of competing in two World Cups this season to bolster her confidence.
Amy Sowash (Richmond, Kentucky) has proven her ability throughout the season in smallbore (.22 caliber) by finishing in the top-eight in two different World Cups and securing the Olympic quota in Three-Position. Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Washington), a 2012 Olympian, is prepping for her quota opportunity in Toronto and should also be among the contenders as will Texas Christian University senior Hannah Black (Richmond, Virginia), Beard and Marsh.
In the Men’s Rifle events, Pan Am team member Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Kentucky) will bring definite heat to the competition after shooting above PSS-scoring standards at the Air Rifle selection in Anniston, Alabama and at the ISSF World Cup in Munich. Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Maryland) will also be one to watch after his consistent performances throughout the season, along with George Norton (USAMU/Salina, Kansas). Learn more about Performance Standard Scores here:
In the smallbore events, Emmons and Norton will be the driving force after providing impressive performances at the ISSF World Cup in Munich, both scoring above the PSS score of 1170. Also bringing competition to the Three-Position stage will be Olympic Training Center resident athlete Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska), who will be competing in the event with Norton for a quota at the upcoming Pan American Games.
After a strong last couple months, the USA Shooting Pistol team comes to Nationals with several World Cup finals finishers and medalists. Two-time Olympian and recent quota winner Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) sits at the top of the list for Rapid Fire pistol, looking to gain Olympic points towards Rio 2016. Pan Am team member Brad Balsley (USAMU/Uniontown, Pennsylvania) comes to Nationals as preparation for his quota opportunity in Toronto. Already snagging his quota at World Cup USA, James Henderson (USAMU/Midland, Georgia) looks for Olympic points as well as valuable Finals experiences.
Consistently strong in Air and Free Pistol, Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) looks to add to his Olympic points, as well as earn a spot to Azerbaijan. Brown has been a finalist at the last two World Cup stops, finishing sixth in Air at World Cup USA and fourth in Free at World Cup Munich. Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas) also comes to Nationals with recent success in Munich; finishing eighth and earning the first quota for the Women’s Air Pistol events. Paterson won the quota by scoring a 386/400 and placing eighth in the Women’s Air Pistol Final, the highest U.S. finish in this event internationally since 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) made Finals and finished eighth at the 2010 ISSF World Championship. Greg Markowski (USAMU/Columbus, Georgia) will also add to the Air Pistol competition, bringing experience and success from the Winter Airgun Championships earlier this year.
2015 National Championships Schedule:
Thursday, June 25 & Friday, June 26
- Women’s Air Rifle; Women’s Paralympic Air Rifle (R2); Men’s 3P Rifle; Standard, Center and Jr Sport Pistol; Paralympic Mixed 25m Pistol (P3); Paralympic Men’s 3P Rifle (R7)
Saturday, June 27 & Sunday, June 28
- M/W Air Pistol; Prone Rifle; Paralympic Air Pistol (P1&P2); Rapid Fire Pistol (PET – Saturday; Day 1 Sunday); Paralympic Mixed Prone Rifle (R6)
Monday, June 29 & Tuesday, June 30
- Men’s Air Rifle; Men’s Paralympic Air Rifle (R1); Mixed Paralympic Air Rifle (R4); Rapid Fire Pistol (Day 2 Monday); Women’s 3P Rifle; Women’s Paralympic 3P Rifle (R8); Men’s Free Pistol (Day 1 Tuesday); Women’s Sport Pistol (Day 1 Tuesday); Paralympic Mixed 25m Pistol (P3/Day 1 Tuesday); Paralympic Mixed 50m Free Pistol (P4/Day 1 Tuesday)
Wednesday, July 1
- Paralympic Mixed Prone Air Rifle (SH1/SH2); Women’s Sport (Day 2); Paralympic Mixed 25m Pistol (P3/Day 2); Men’s Free Pistol (Day 2); Paralympic Mixed 50m Free Pistol (P4/Day 2)
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About USA Shooting
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting’s mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country.
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