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Airgun Athletes Aim for World Cup Selection in Anniston

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 24, 2015)

The Anniston (Alabama) range of the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) will be the site of weekend competition featuring the nation’s best Airgun athletes with World Cup selections on the line.  

The top finishers from the Winter Airgun (WAG) Match that took place this past December have been invited to compete in Air Pistol and Air Rifle. The event will feature two qualification matches and two separate finals Saturday and Sunday with top-three athletes selected from the total aggregate score from this weekend’s competition. Those athletes will have the opportunity to represent USA Shooting at the upcoming World Cup USA in Fort Benning, Georgia (May 11-19) and the World Cup in Munich, Germany (May 26-June 2).   

Men’s Air Pistol will feature nine competitors including Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) who won WAG by 10 points over U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) competitor and reigning National Champion James Henderson (Midland, Georgia).  Greg Markowski (USAMU/Columbus, Georgia) was third followed by 2012 Olympian Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana) and three-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the event Jason Turner (Rochester, New York).    

The Women’s Air Pistol field is small with just eight competitors with the notable absence of top WAG qualifier Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas), who declined the opportunity to participate.  Reigning National Champion Courtney Anthony (USAMU/Lexington, Nebraska) was second during WAGs. Other challengers will include Olympians Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) and Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Arizona) along with Teresa Chambers (Dearborn, Michigan), Alana Townsend (Kalispell, Montana) and Enkelejda Shehaj (Naples, Florida). Thirteen-year-old Carson Saabye (Larkspur, Colorado) was the surprise of Winter Airgun finishing sixth overall and will look to gain more match experience in Anniston.   

In Men’s Air Rifle, it was reigning National Champion Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska) who topped the field during WAGs. Close behind was Daniel Lowe (USAMU/Olympia, Washington) and Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Maryland).  Wallizer was also second during February’s Rocky Mountain Rifle Championship and was the highest U.S. finisher during the season-opening ISSF World Cup in Changwon, South Korea. Rocky Mountain champion Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) and bronze medalist Tom Csenge (Colorado Springs, Colorado) will also look to get into the mix as will USAMU athlete George Norton (USAMU/Salina, Kansas). 

Sarah Beard will look to maintain her consistency in the Air Rifle event and ward off a few high-school aged sensations in the process during the Airgun Selection Match. Photo courtesy of Brad Armstrong.Over the past two years, Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) has shown the most consistency of the women competing in Air Rifle this weekend having won 2013 Nationals, 2014 WAGs and Rocky Mountain and with a bronze at 2014 Nationals. But, have no doubt she’ll be challenged to maintain that stronghold with the rise of a high school contingent eager to rise to the top.  Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) has momentum on her side having just finished a rare double victory (air and smallbore) during the National Junior Olympic Championships this past week. She was third behind Beard and Amy Sowash (Richmond, Kentucky) during Rocky Mountain. Another 16-year-old to keep your eyes on is Sarah Osborn (Hampton, Virginia), who was just .3 points shy of Beard during WAG and shot well during her World Cup debut in Changwon. Seventeen-year-old Rhiann Travis (Weatherford, Texas) was second to Marsh at the 2015 Junior Olympics.  Also, don’t lose sight of reigning National Champion Dacotah Faught (Amenia, North Dakota).  

Categories: Press Releases
National Shooting Sports Foundation