Day One of USA Shooting’s Winter Airgun Championships Highlighted by Olympic Duel

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (November 30, 2012)

The 2012 Winter Airgun Championships officially kicked-off a three-day competition in Colorado Springs, Colo., Friday featuring some of the top airgun shooters in the nation along with some international flavor as well.  

Featuring three Olympians including Sarah Scherer (Worster, Mass.), Amanda Furrer (Spokane, Wash.) and Italy's Petra Zubasling, the Women's Air Rifle Final highlighted the first day of shooting.  Tied at 499/500 after qualifying, Scherer and Zubasling dueled it out on the Olympic Training Center grounds. Still tied after the third of a 10 shot final, Zubasling, a West Virginia University Rifle Team standout, would pull ahead with only one shot registering below a 10.6 the rest of the way.  Scherer, who made the Olympic final in this event and finished seventh overall, would finish second while 16-year-old Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.) held her own with an impressive 103.4 final to finish third.  Gratz recently finished second at the Civilian Marksmanship Unit’s (CMP’s) Dixie Double earlier this month against notable U.S. and international competitors.

In Men's Air Rifle, National Junior Team member and University of Kentucky rifle standout Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.) was today's top finisher after posting a 594/600 in qualifying and shooting a 103.7 final.  Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) finished second while Elijah Ellis (Kingsport, Tenn.), a teammate of Davis’ both at Kentucky and on the National Junior Team, earned a spot on the podium in third.  Six of the top-eight finishers are current NCAA rifle shooters representing Kentucky, Army, Alaska-Fairbanks and the United States Air Force Academy.

Air Pistol

Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) has been putting a lot of time in on the range at the U.S. Olympic Training Center and the results showed Friday in Men’s Air Pistol as he out-distanced his nearest competitor, Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.), a fourth-place finisher in this event at the 2008 Olympic Games, by 5.4 points overall.  Shooting a 582 in qualifying, he went into the final with an almost insurmountable seven-point advantage.  Finishing third was John Ennis (Simi Valley, Calif.) followed by 2012 Olympian Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.) in fourth.  Mowrer qualified for London in the Men’s 50m Free Pistol event but has stated his desire to improve in the air pistol event this coming quad.

Backed by a strong 101.2 final in Women’s Air Pistol, Teresa Meyer (Dearborn, Mich.) came from behind to take the top spot.  Shooting a 376 and trailing by two to Kylie Gagnon (Bozeman, Mont.), Meyer used her vast experience to out-shoot her finals competitors by over four points.  Gagnon, meanwhile, slipped in the final to shoot 89.9 to drop to fourth.  Courtney Anthony (Lexington, Neb.) would finish second followed by Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.) in third.

Day 1 results of the 2012 Winter Airgun Championships:

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