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Individual Titles Awarded and First Steps to World Championship Taken at the Winter Airgun Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (December 2, 2017)

The second day of the annual December tradition known as the Winter Airgun Championships concluded today in Colorado Springs with titles awarded in Men’s and Women’s Air Rifle and Air Pistol. It also brought some athletes one step closer to punching their tickets to the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship next summer in Changwon, South Korea.

More than 400 competitors are competing in the three-day Air Rifle and Air Pistol match at the Olympic Shooting Center and temporary ranges on the Olympic Training Center complex through Sunday. This match serves 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 for the Open division (athletes over age 21). The selection points from this competition will carry over to the second part of Airgun selection that will take place at the Spring Selection Match, March 26-30 in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The two match days in individual competition wrapped today with today’s results in Open comprising a cumulative score of yesterday and today’s Qualification, as well as additional points earned in today’s Finals finish. In the Junior division, today’s results were based on the finish in today’s Qualification and Final alone. Junior competitors for the ISSF World Championship will be decided at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship in Colorado Springs in April.

Men’s Air Rifle

A pair of Colorado Springs-based Junior shooters led the way in Men’s Air Rifle, with back-to-back record-breaking performances highlighting the two-day match.  Air Force Rifle sophomore Logan Ogden (Galway, New York) put on a show Friday, setting a USA Shooting junior record with a score of 627. 1 in Qualification that helped lead him to a 3.3-point victory over 2016 Olympian and reigning National Champion Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia). Kozeniesky scored Finals wins both days, but it was not enough to overcome Ogden’s strong Qualification results.

Not to be outdone, Kentucky-bound Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado) broke his own J2 (15-17 years old) record with a 625.5 Saturday, besting his previous best score of 622.2 he shot at the 2016 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC).  Shaner’s consistency over the two days combined with a Finals win Saturday was enough to push him to victory in the Junior division while the 16-year-old phenom was good enough in the Open ranks to also earn himself a solid third-place result.   Three of the top four results were put forth by Juniors as Ogden’s Air Force teammate Spencer Cap (Cranbury, New Jersey) earned the fourth-place result in the Open division and finished behind Shaner in the Junior division.  West Virginia University junior Will Anti (Fort Benning, Georgia) was the third-placed Junior.  

Men’s Air Pistol

In Men’s Air Pistol, 2012 Olympian Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana) continues to showcase his trigger-pulling abilities no matter what discipline he competes in. The pistol Olympian and 2014 Prone Rifle World Cup bronze medalist had been concentrating on rifle, but this week it was all about air pistol and now he’s Winter Airgun Champion.  He outshot his foes by five over two days of qualifying and finished third in each both Finals.  James Hall (Anniston, Alabama) outscored everyone in Saturday’s match with a 581/600, which helped him earn a second-place showing overall.  Three-time Rapid Fire Pistol Olympian Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) also showcased his all-around pistol skills by finishing in third place and earning a win today’s Final.

Ian Lancaster (Des Plaines, Illinois), who finished second in the Open Final by losing in a shootoff to Sanderson, would go on to win the Junior Final and the Day 2 Junior Men’s Air Pistol title. Lancaster took the Day 2 honors over second-place Henry Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia) in a shootoff to decide the Junior Final. Kyler Swisher (Jonestown, Pennsylvania) finished in third place.

Women’s Air Pistol

Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nevada) asserted her dominance in Women’s Air Pistol by finishing both days with the top Qualification score and winning both days’ Finals. 2012 Olympian and reigning National Champion Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) finished in second place overall. Rounding out the top three in the Open division was 16-year-old Sarah Choe (Los Angeles, California), who also finished in second in today’s Final.

Junior National Champion Rachel Cantrell (Boise, Idaho) was today’s top finisher in the Junior competition, besting Maria Tsarik (Lake Bluff, Illinois) by 1.4 points in the Final. National Junior Olympic Shooting Champion Kellie Foster (Rockdale, Texas) finished in third place in today’s match.

Women’s Air Rifle

Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas, pictured) continued to build on the success of her collegiate season this weekend by winning the Women’s Air Rifle competition with two world-class Qualification scores (419.8 and 418.5) and a second-place finish in today’s Final. The TCU senior recorded four of the 10-best collegiate Air Rifle scores this season, including a perfect 600 score (All NCAA athletes shoot 60 shots in collegiate rifle competition, versus 40 shots for women in international competition).

Multi-time National Champion Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) finished in second place overall and National Championship silver medalist Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California) surged into a third-place finish today with a world class 420.5 in today’s Qualification match.

On the Junior side, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) posted the highest Junior score on both days of Qualification, including winning both days’ Finals and finishing atop today’s podium. In yesterday’s Junior Final, Thrasher’s score of 252.5 would have bested the ISSF Finals World Record by .4 points.

A pair of TCU athletes filled out the podium with Angeline Henry (Fort Worth, Texas) and Kristen Hemphill (Lohn, Texas) finishing in second and third place today.

Complete results from today’s action at the Winter Airgun Championships can be found here: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/0_2017/WAG/Results/2017_WAG_RESULTS_Day2.pdf.

Photos from today’s competition: https://flic.kr/s/aHsma2rSnE.

New to this year’s match will be a Mixed Team Event for each of the disciplines starting tomorrow. 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. The start list for tomorrow’s Mixed Team Events can be found here: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/0_2017/WAG/Start_List/WAG_Start_List_Day_3.pdf.

Live targets from this competition can be found here:  http://results.megalink.no/#/. Tune into www.usashooting.org and/or follow all the USA Shooting social media channels for event news, notes, results and photos.  FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | FLICKR  (USA Shooting).

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