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Abundance of Rifle Talent & Competitors Ready for Winter Airgun Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (November 30, 2017)

USA Shooting’s Winter Airgun Championships (WAG) gets underway Friday in Colorado Springs and 295 rifle athletes are here with a holiday wish list that includes podium-worthy performances and a clearer 2018 vision.

More than 400 competitors have signed up to compete in the three-day Air Rifle and Air Pistol match that will take place at the Olympic Shooting Center and temporary ranges on the Olympic Training Center complex through Sunday. This match will also serve as Part One of Two in the selection process for upcoming ISSF World Cups, Championship of the Americas (CAT Games) and the ISSF World Championship. Part Two of Airgun selection will take place at the Spring Selection Match, March 26-30 in Fort Benning, Georgia.

WAG annually presents a perfect forum to check-in on the premier rifle talent in the country during a time of year that creates plenty of intrigue and competition. The best collegiate rifle athletes have primed their match abilities on campuses throughout the country during the fall, and now they collectively gather in Olympic City USA ready to shoot well before getting to their finals and settling down for a much-needed break during the holidays.   

Women’s Rifle features some marquee talent highlighted by reigning Olympic champion Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) along with current national champion Alison Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) and national’s runner-up Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California).  Like Thrasher, Texas Christian University senior stalwart Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas) has recorded four of the 10-best collegiate air rifle scores this season and both of them have each recorded perfect 600 scores.  Miles’ effort back on October 28 on her home range was the second of her career, which is an NCAA first.

Also likely to factor into the women’s standings will be multi-time national champion Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) and former NCAA Rifle champion Rachel Martin (Peralta, New Mexico).

2016 Olympian and reigning Air Rifle National Champion Lucas KozenieskyIn Men’s Rifle, 2016 Olympian Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia) is the reigning national champion and just recently won the Dixie Double. He’ll be pushed by nationals runner-up Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) and a pair of Murray State University senior standouts in Ivan Roe (Manhattan, Montana), a bronze medalist at Nationals, as well as Bobby Broadstreet (Ozark, Missouri).

Based on top NCAA scores posted to date this season , other collegiate contenders could include University of Alaska Fairbanks senior Luke Johnson (Marysville, Pennsylvania) and The Ohio State University senior Mark Matheny (Middletown, Delaware).

The Winter Airgun Championships includes two separate match days in Men’s and Women’s Air Rifle and Air Pistol, to include Junior competition as well. Awards will be given upon the conclusion of each match day.  

New to this year’s match will be a Mixed Team Event for each of the disciplines on Sunday. All competitors will shoot 40 shots in Qualification with the top man/top woman, second-place man/second-place woman and so forth down to five teams paired up as teams to compete in the Team Final.

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