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Tucson Welcomes World’s Best Shotgun Athletes Once Again

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 3, 2014)

The world’s best shotgun athletes, including 24 USA Shooting Team members, will converge on Tucson, Ariz., once again for the start of the 2014 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup season. 

Athletes who have struggled to train in the cold, wet elements associated with winter will welcome the arid conditions offered in Tucson, home of one of the best ranges in the world, the Tucson Trap & Skeet Club (TTSC).

The World Cup comes to the Arizona for the second time in three years having first visited during the Olympic year of 2012. That event featured over 250 competitors then and organizers expect nearly that same amount this time around. The TTSC turned into a shooter’s paradise at the first World Cup with five records broken or tied through the first three events. 

Home-field advantage was pivotal to the USA Shooting Team’s success, garnering five medals overall, including three gold and two bronze. 

Seven of the 23 U.S. athletes that shot in 2012 are back wearing the USA Shooting Team jacket for their upcoming world test after earning the opportunity following the 2013 Fall Selection Match, also at TTSC.  Headlining that group are 2012 World Cup gold medalists Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) and Ryan Hadden (USAMU/Pendleton, Ore.) along with 2012 bronze medalists Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas) and Josh Richmond (USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pa.).  Rhode led a trio of Americans into the finals that day in 2012, shooting a perfect world-record score of 75/75 during qualifying.  Drozd would settle for bronze after a shoot-out with Italy’s Diana Bacosi. Hadden shot a 123/125 in qualifying and then shot a perfect 25/25 in the final to secure victory. Richmond moved from a sixth-place qualifying score to third overall after hitting 50 straight targets. That double-trap event saw the emergence of eventual 2012 Olympic gold medalist Peter Russell Wilson of Great Britain, who shot a world-record score on his way to the win.

"I am coming off a great performance at the Selection Match just a few weeks ago, so I'm feeling confident about my shooting," said Drozd. "I'm looking forward to competing against world-class athletes with our home-field advantage at the Tuscon Trap & Skeet Club."

The opportunity to compete for Team USA at any international event is special.  Put that event in your hometown, on the range you train on, and the excitement level is off the charts. Such is the case for Luis “Taz” Gloria (Tucson, Ariz.), who will no doubt be Tucson’s favorite athlete April 13-14 when he competes in Men’s Skeet.  Given that he’s only competed in one previous World Cup, good results might not be expected.  But this kid beat the sport’s best in Vincent Hancock as well as 2012 Olympian Frank Thompson, just to qualify for the chance.

Similarly, Susan Sledge (El Cajon, Calif.) surprised the field back in October to earn the Fall Selection Match bronze medal respectively, thus securing her spot in the Trap event.

Joining Richmond in Double Trap is arguably the most potent Double Trap team in the World with Olympians Glenn Eller (USAMU/Houston, Texas) and Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, Calif.).  Collectively, they have six Olympics under their belts and a plethora of World Championship and World Cup medals as well. Eller returned to form in 2013 earning both Selection Match titles to go along with a qualifying World Record, a World Championship title and a World Cup Finals silver medal.  

"I'm very excited to compete in a World Cup on home turf and at a world-class facility," Richmond said. "I have had success here in the past, so my goals are obviously set high coming back. I am also very proud of my teammates Jeff and Glenn and feel that we have great things to come in the future as a Double Trap team. We are all shooting very well coming into this event."  

Hoping to feel better this match will be skeet shooter Mark Weeks (USAMU/Clinton Township, Mich.).  Odds are he’ll never feel any worse than he did back in 2012 shooting the World Cup event, a week after a near fatal accident on a jet ski left him with severe second degree burns on a majority of his legs. Undoubtedly, Weeks put in more miles walking the range than any other competitor that week.  The only way for him to minimize the severe pain he was experiencing was with constant movement so that the blood didn’t build up on his fresh wounds. He also wasn’t able to wear shoes so he sported Crocs during the event.  Released from the hospital just days before his event and rather than rest at home, Weeks did the unthinkable and the next day boarded a plane for Tucson, unwilling to miss a World Cup on American soil.

Be sure to follow USA Shooting on our website, Facebook and Twitter for updates leading up to and throughout the event.

2014 World Cup USA Tucson Event Schedule

Thursday, April 10            Women’s Trap Qualifying + Final

                                                Men’s Trap Qualifying

Friday, April 11                  Men’s Trap Qualifying + Final

Sunday, April 13                Men’s Double Trap Qualifying + Final

                                                Women’s Skeet Qualifying + Final

                                                Men’s Skeet Qualifying

Monday, April 14              Men’s Skeet Qualifying + Final

                        

USA Shooting Team Participants

Trap

Brian Burrows (Fallbrook, Calif.)

Ryan Hadden (USAMU/Pendleton, Ore.)

Seth Inman (USAMU/Independence, Mo.)

*James Reed (Azle, Texas)

*Jake Wallace (Castiac, Calif.)

*Kayle Browning (Wooster, Ark.)

Ashley Carroll (Solvang, Calif.)

*Corey Cogdell (Eagle River, Alaska)

Rachael Heiden (Clinton, Mich.)

Susan Sledge (El Cajon, Calif.)

Skeet

Luis “Taz” Gloria (Tucson, Ariz.)

Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas)

*Hayden Stewart (USAMU/Columbia, Tenn.)

*Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.)

Mark Weeks (USAMU/Clinton Township, Mich.)

Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas)

Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa)

*Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.)

Double Trap

Glenn Eller (USAMU/Houston, Texas)

*Derek Haldeman (USAMU/Sunbury, Ohio)

Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, Calif.)

Josh Richmond (USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pa.)

*Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.)

*Athletes competing for a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) only and are ineligible for World Cup medals at this event.

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National Shooting Sports Foundation