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Stakes are High as Shotgun Athletes Begin 2019 Season in Tucson

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (February 26, 2019)

The stakes are high for the nation’s top shotgun competitors descending upon the warm-weather climate of Tucson, Arizona for USA Shooting’s Shotgun Spring Selection Match as Pan American Games, World Championship and World Cup selection spots are all on the line.  Competition begins Thursday in Men’s and Women’s trap.   

Eager to avoid the harsh winter training that many athletes endured in preparation for this match, mother nature had a different idea in Tucson where those early arrivals were greeted with a rare desert snowstorm late last week. But normalcy has returned, and the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club will be a welcome spring oasis for competitors with temperatures in the mid-70s expected throughout most of the 10-day competition.

When we last checked in on the trap team, Kayle Browning (Wooster, Arkansas) was atop the podium with an Olympic quota secured while winning the final competitive event of a busy 2018 at the Championship of the Americas on November 5. Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) joined Browning on the podium in third while Aeriel Skinner (Jackson, California) was fourth.  On the men’s side, Glenn Eller (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Houston, Texas) earned a bronze medal. Carroll and Grayson Davey (Anchorage, Alaska) would team-up one day later for a Mixed Team Trap gold medal.

These five above are just some of the athletes to watch in Tucson combined with those standing on the podium during USA Shooting National Championships last October. On the men’s side that includes reigning national champion Caleb Lindsey (Spring Hill, Tennessee), silver medalist Roe Reynolds (Quitman, Arkansas) and bronze medalist Brian Burrows (Fallbrook, California). Other names that could contend include Alex Rennert (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Surfside, Florida), reigning Junior champion Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana), Junior World Championship silver medalist Logan Lucas (Pacific, Missouri) and reigning world-record holder Jake Wallace (Castaic, California).

On the women’s side, Skinner took home her first national title with Carroll earning the bronze and it was Emma Williams (Savannah, Tennessee) sandwiched in the middle as the silver medalist.  Other contenders could include 14-year-old Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee), reigning Junior champion Victoria Hendrix (Glendale, Arizona) and three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska).

Since 2017, 12 different male trap shooters have earned a podium spot at a USA Shooting Selection Match or Nationals, with the five-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Eller earning the most podiums at three, including two wins.  In that same time, nine women have earned a podium spot in Woman’s Trap with Carroll earning podium position in five of the six events, including four wins. Skinner has been the most consistent podium placer of late, having earned four straight podium appearances.

Format for the Spring Selection Match includes 250 Qualification targets, followed by an event Final where Finals points will be added to the overall score for the top-three finishers.  Individual Trap competition runs Thursday, February 28 through Sunday, March 3 with the Mixed Team Trap event taking place Monday, March 4.  Skeet competition runs Wednesday, March 6 through Saturday, March 9.

The World Cup season for USA Shooting’s shotgun elite kicks off March 17 in Acapulco, Mexico. A top-two finish in Tucson will qualify an athlete for Pan American Games selection, which will take place July 26-August 11 in Lima, Peru.  A top-three standing is qualification for the World Championships for both open and junior athletes, which will be contested June 30-July 11 in Lonato, Italy.  Top-three junior finishers will also be eligible for Junior World Cup Selection, July 12-20 on Suhl, Germany. 

Stay tuned for the Men’s and Women’s Skeet preview release that will be issued on Tuesday, March 5.

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