The Pan American Games Preview
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (October 14, 2011)
The USA Shooting Team is on the ground and gearing up for the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The event officially begins with the Opening Ceremony on Oct. 14. The first record shots will be fired on Oct. 16 with competition in Men’s and Women’s 10m Air Pistol. The USA’s Will Brown (Twins Falls, Idaho) and Daryl Szarenski (Seale, Ala.) will represent the USA in Men’s 10m Air Pistol. With one quota already in the USA’s pocket, the pistol athletes are looking to secure a second quota for London 2012. In Women’s 10m Air Pistol, Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) and Teresa Meyer (Dearborn, Mich.) are aiming for the first women’s pistol quota, which will be awarded to the gold medalist only.
Continuing with the air shooting events, Men’s and Women’s 10m Air Rifle will be contested on Oct. 17. Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas) and Jonathan Hall (Carrollton, Ga.) are set to compete for the Americans. Rawlings is coming off a national championship victory in June—he’s proven himself as the best in the USA, he’s looking to conquer the continent. Meghann K. Morrill (Boerne, Texas) and Emily Caruso (Fairfield, Conn.) are the female counterparts that will battle with the rest of North and South America for the second Women’s 10m Air Rifle quota.
U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.) has been consistently marking top scores in Men’s 50m Free Pistol. Mowrer set a new personal best at the 2011 USA Shooting National Championships and is aiming for the second quota for Team USA on Oct. 18. Teammate Szarenski will be competing in his second event and was also a three-time ISSF World Cup medalist in 2010 and the ISSF World Cup Final Champion. The Women’s Trap final will also take place on Oct. 18. Junior shooters (and current members of the USA Shooting National Team) Miranda Wilder (Diana, Texas) and Kayle Browning (Wooster, Ark.) are the Americans competing. The USA already has its only-allotted quota in Women’s Trap, so these shooters will gain valuable international experience.
The following day, all eyes will be on Men’s Trap athletes Jake Turner (Richland, Wash.) and Matt Gossett (Springville, Ala.). This is the final opportunity for the American team to earn its quota position for London 2012. Turner recently finished the first leg of U.S. Olympic Trials as the leader by one target. He didn’t compete internationally in 2011, but is hungry for that solo quota. Teammate Gossett has youth on his side as he is hailed for his tenacity and focus. Gossett finished fourth at the 2010 World Championship and is the reigning Men’s National Champion. Shortly after the Men’s Trap final, Women’s 25m Pistol athletes Uptagrafft and Meyer will double-up on their appearances and once again attempt to earn a quota for the USA. Also, American Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisc.) and teammate Jason Parker (Columbus, Ga.) are looking for the second Men’s 50m Rifle Prone quota.
Men’s Double Trap athletes Jeffrey Holguin (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and Glenn Eller (Katy, Texas) will take the stage on Oct. 20. The Americans have already secured a quota for London 2012 and no Men’s Double Trap quotas will be awarded at the Pan American Games. Eller, the current seventh ranked Double Trap shooter in the world right now, is set to compete after two recent international bronze medals and a solid lead in the first leg of U.S. Olympic Trials.
The Women’s Skeet final will take place on Oct. 21, where the USA’s highly-decorated Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif., pictured above) will attempt to round out her robust resume. Rhode is has yet to win a Pan American title in Women’s Skeet. Rhode won the USA’s only quota and is already nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team. Also aiming for finals that same day is Parker (in his second event) and Matt Wallace (Fairbanks, Alaska). They are leading the charge in Men’s 50m Rifle Three Position. The USA is hoping to secure one additional quota to take a total of two shooters to the London Olympic Games.
The shooting sports portion of the Pan American Games concludes on Oct. 22 with finals in Men’s Skeet, Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position and Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol. Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.) the 2008 Olympic Games gold medalist in Men’s Skeet will be competing alongside Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.) for Pan American glory. In Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position, Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.) of Texas Christian University is looking to secure an additional quota for the American team. Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) are the final Americans competing in Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol.