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Rocky Mountain Rifle Set to Begin in Colorado Springs with Sport's Prominent Shooters

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (January 31, 2012)

EmmonsRifle shooters, including several prominent Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, are crowding the dorm rooms of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., in anticipation of the annual Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships, Feb. 1-5. 

Athletes are taking advantage of the winter smallbore (.22 caliber) training and competition offered by this match as Olympic and Paralympic preparation ramps up.  Over a period of three days, the top smallbore shooters in the nation will battle for Rocky Mountain Championship glory with athletes assigned two courses of fire in hopes of competing in the final Feb. 4.  In addition,  $500 in prize money will be on the line Wednesday for the winner of the 20-shot Super Final.  Finally, the air rifle shooters will take the stage on Feb. 5 for a one-day match and final.    

 “Quality smallbore competition is difficult to find in the colder months and the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships is an excellent opportunity to test new techniques and gear up for the competition season,” said Match Director Wanda Jewell. 

National Rifle Coach Major Dave Johnson echoed that sentiment noting: “this match is used to help athletes prepare for the London Test Event in mid-April and is a good early-season test to evaluate how our shooters are performing.”  Johnson will be selecting one top-performing athlete to travel with the USA Shooting Team to compete in the London Test Event.

The Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships is also unique in the variety of talent the match attracts.  Several National Development and National Junior Team members are also on-hand to compete with some of the top shooters in the country.  Visiting shooters from Italy and Great Britain will also join the Americans on the firing line including Niccolo Campriani, the No. 2-ranked Men’s 10m Air Rifle and No. 3-ranked Men’s 50m Three Position rifle shooter in the world.  Paralympic shooter Karen Butler, the seventh-ranked R8 Women’s 50m Rifle Three Position SH1 shooter in the world, will compete as well.

Among the notable U.S. competitors expected to participate this week are U.S. Olympic Team nominees Jamie Gray (Lebanon, Pa.), Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.) and Sergeant First Class Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.), who is one of 12 U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit athletes competing this weekend.  They will be joined by 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team nominee Sergeant First Class Josh Olson (Spokane, Wash.). 

Follow the match on Facebook, Twitter or visit the match results page or usashooting.org for complete scores and rankings.

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Categories: Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships
National Shooting Sports Foundation