Five National Championship Titles Awarded on Day 2 of USA Shooting National Championships For Rifle & Pistol

FORT BENNING, Ga. (June 4, 2013) -

 The first five titles of the USA Shooting National Championships (USASNC) for Rifle and Pistol were awarded today as National Champions were declared in Women’s Air Rifle, Men’s Three-Position Rifle, Men’s Standard and Center Fire Pistol; as well as Junior Sport Pistol.

Holding on to her Day 1 lead in the Women’s Air Rifle event, 2012 Olympian and defending National Champion Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.) retained her National Champion crown with 851 points. The top-three positions in this event remained the same from Day 1 as Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.) held on to second place with 839.6 points and National Team member Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.) also remained in third place with 827.4 points.  With their top-three finishes, Scherer and Beard are once again named to the National Team with Sowash also earning a berth on the National Team.

Elizabeth Marsh ( Cleburne County, Ark.) won the gold in the Junior division with 824.9 points – a score that put her fourth overall and earned her a spot on the Junior National Team. In second for Junior Women’s Air Rifle is Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.) with 836.3 – a score that put her in fifth-place overall. In third is Dacotah Faught (Amenia, N.D.) with 818.3 points.

Just as in Women’s Air Rifle– the top-three positions in Men’s Three-Position Rifle remained the same after Day 2 as U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) shooter and four-time Olympian Jason Parker (Omaha, Neb.) retained his National Championship title in this event with 2357 points.

“I’ve been working very hard this spring adjusting to the new ISSF rule changes,” Parker said.  “I worked especially hard with my coach Tom Tamas on standing and building a new finals routine. The new finals have quite a few new challenges for the shooters that were brought up under different rules, but I was happy that all of the hard work towards them paid off!”

Retaining second place and winning the silver medal is Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) with 2342 points and Parker’s USAMU and 2012 Olympic teammate Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wis.) placed third with 2340 points. Parker and McPhail also have been renewed as members of the National Team with Christenson being promoted to the National Team with his second-place finish.

In Junior Men’s Three-Position Rifle, Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Mo.) defended his gold medal with a score of 2324 – a score that placed him sixth overall. Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.) took second with 2323 points and Ryan Anderson (Fairbanks, Alaska) took third with 2317 points. Both Spurgeon and Davis re-qualify their spots on the National Junior Team.

During the awards ceremony, National Rifle Coach Marcus Raab announced that Scherer, Sowash, Beard, Parker, Christenson and McPhail would also be named to the World Cup team to compete in Granada, Spain in July.

The final scores in Women’s Air Rifle and Men’s Three-Position Rifle are a combined total of points including qualification scores from yesterday, today and additional points awarded for placing in each day’s final (Eight additional points awarded for first, seven points for second, six points for third and so on for all finals positions) as laid out under USA Shooting’s new National Championship and World Cup team selection procedures for this event. For more information on this amendment, please click here:

On the pistol side, USAMU shooters swept the Center Fire event (pictured right) with Brad Balsley (Uniontown, Pa.) holding on to his Day 1 lead of 1177 points to win the gold medal. Greg Markowski  (Columbus, Ga.) stayed in second to receive the silver medal with 1162 points and Sean Ragay (Fort Benning, Ga.) retained third with 1159 points.

In Standard Pistol, Markowski held on to first place with 1139 points. Balsley stayed in second with 1133 and National Junior Team member Alexander Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Fla.) took third with 1123 points.

The lone Junior National Championship title of the day was awarded to Timothy Steinberg, who held on to his first-place position in Sport Pistol with 1122 points. Rounding out the top three was Chichkov with 1116 points and 2013 Junior Olympic champion Robert Wells (Pontotoc, Miss.) with 1110.

For all of the results from the USASNC, please click here: .

Featured competition over the next two days of USASNC will include Men’s and Women’s Air Pistol along with Men’s and Women’s Prone Rifle events.  Air Pistol will include 80 participants with Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) and Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) having the upper-hand based on early season results.  Brown was successful in the event on his most recent trip to Fort Benning, having won the gold medal at the World Cup USA in May.  Brown will face a challenge from 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) and will match up against his brother Wyatt, the 2013 Junior Olympic champion in air pistol. 

In Rifle, McPhail is the favorite in Men’s Prone.  He’s landed a silver medal and a seventh-place finish at both World Cups in 2013.  Giving chase will be his USAMU and Olympic teammate Eric Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.).  Also, keep an eye open for Christenson who beat McPhail at the 2013 Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships along with 2013 Junior Olympic Prone Champion Anderson.  On the women’s side, the top-four finishers from last year’s USA Shooting National Championships are not present and the field seems to be wide open but Sowash and Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pa.) were fifth and sixth respectively in 2012 and will challenge for the top ranking once again.   

Check out all of the photos from this day of competition on Flickr here:

Categories: Press Releases, 2013 USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle/Pistol