Anticipation Builds as Scores Climb at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Airgun

PORT CLINTON, Ohio (February 25, 2012)

TrialsWith only one day left in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Airgun, tensions rise as scores grow tighter.  Snow fell at the Civilian Marksmanship’s north facility in Port Clinton, Ohio.  The snow didn’t deter competition in Men’s 10m Air Rifle.  The top three athletes are separated by only 2.3 points.  Two-time Olympic medalist and 2012 U.S. Olympic Team nominee (smallbore) Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, N.J.) took the lead with 596 match points. Corporal Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas) of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) shot 593 match points to keep the heat on Emmons.  Jonathan Hall (Carrollton, Ga.) also shot 596 match points to come within nine-tenths of a point behind Rawlings. 

warIn Women’s 10m Air Rifle, veteran and U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete Emily Caruso (Fairfield, Conn.) reigned supreme today with 397 match points to gain a two point lead on the competition. Despite battling a head cold, which often affects an athlete’s equilibrium, Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.) shot 395 match points for the second position.  Jamie Gray (Lebanon, Pa.), a 2012 U.S. Olympic Team nominee for smallbore, is just five-tenths of a point behind Scherer and looking to earn a berth for her second event in London.

The pistol events of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials revolved around the tRIALSBrown family today.  U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) was joined by his parents—Dan and Susan—in the air pistol events. Will Brown shot 579 match points to tie Men’s 10m Air Pistol leader Sergeant First Class Daryl Szarenski (Seale, Ala.) of the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program.  Szarenski, a three time Olympian, still commands a nearly 19 point lead over the field.  Brown attempted to put a wedge between himself and third-place athlete Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.).  Brown is just over two points ahead of Turner, who shot 576 points to keep pace.  Brown’s father Dan finished in 27th place with 532 points.  

Susan Brown, who has been shooting for less than a year, entered and conquered her first final today.  Though she remains ranked sixth overall, Brown’s 374 points and 95.5 points in the final earned her the title of high woman and gold medalist of Saturday’s event.  The current leader, however, is Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) with 375 match points.  Second position belongs to Darian Shenk (Annville, Pa.) with 369 points and Kylie Gagnon (Bozeman, Mont.) is in third with 371 points.

“I’m very satisfied with how the match is going,” said USA Shooting President Gary Anderson.  “I think we are going to have some close races and exciting finishes.  I’m impressed with how hard everyone is working to stay in contention, but no one has been able to make a break through yet.”

Shooting resumes Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. EST with competition in Men’s 10m Air Rifle.  Women’s 10m Air Rifle and Pistol are combined into one relay at 9:45 a.m. EST.  Finals will follow at 12:15 p.m. EST and 1:15 p.m. EST for Men’s and Women’s 10m Air Rifle respectively.  Men’s 10m Air Pistol will continue with relay at 3:30 p.m. EST and finals at 6:15 p.m. EST.  The Women’s 10m Air Pistol final will be held at 5:00 p.m. EST.  USA Shooting will announce six nominees to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team following the Men’s 10m Air Pistol final. 

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies and the local organizing committees.  All athletes nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team must be approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee. To follow the action, please visit USA Shooting’s Facebook page.  Live results are available courtesy of the Civilian Markmanship Program

 Photos courtesy of Sommer Wood, CMP.

Categories: U.S. Olympic Trials