Results from Day 1 of Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (February 14, 2013)
Chocolate and roses celebrating Valentine’s Day were in short supply at the Olympic Shooting Center Thursday, but not missing was the sights and smells that capture the heart and minds of all competitive shooters – the plinking of a precision air rifle and the smell of gun powder and lead. Another packed season of competitive shooting is underway for America’s top shooters as the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships got underway in Colorado Springs earlier today.
Many of the top Air Rifle shooters are competing collegiately or chose not to attend this early-season match, allowing lesser known shooters to try and make their mark. Doing so on Day 1 of competition was National Development Team member Dempster Christianson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) after shooting a 595/600 to lead all 23 competitors in the men’s division. Christianson opened a six-shot advantage on the field followed in second by Nicholas Daviscourt (Lonetree, Colo.) while veteran U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) shooter Hank Gray (USAMU/Belgrade, Mont.) sits in third with a 587.
In the women’s field featuring 16 shooters, young 16-year-old high schooler Minden Miles (Weatherford, Texas) shot a 393/400 to lead the field. Miles showed dramatic improvement from the last time she competed in Colorado Springs having shot in the National Junior Olympic Championships in 2012 where she finished 51st with scores of 381 and 375 out of a possible 400. She currently stands three points ahead of Lisette Grunwell-Lacey (Old Lyme, Conn.). Erin Lorenzen (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) is in third with a 389 along with Japanse shooter Seiko Iwata.
The field of nearly 40 competitors is highlighted by three Olympians including Jason Parker (USAMU/Omaha, Neb.), Eric Uptagrafft (USAMU/Phenix City, Ala.) and Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wis.) along with 2012 Paralympian Josh Olson (USAMU/Spokane, Wash.).
The smallbore (.22 caliber) shooting starts Friday, with relays in the morning and afternoon (8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. MST respectively). The smallbore shooting will conclude with finals at 1:00 p.m. MST on Saturday. Air rifle athletes will compete again during another relay and finals on Sunday.