Progressive-Position Pistol National Championships Set for Year Two of Dual Venue Championship

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (July 24, 2014)

Two centers of marksmanship prowess are coming together once again to host the second concurrent USA Shooting National Championship for Progressive-Position Pistol (PPP), July 26-27.  Both east and west venue options for last year’s National Championship helped push registration numbers over the 100 athlete mark for the first time in the event’s history with organizers hoping for even more in 2014.

The Colorado Springs Olympic Shooting Center and the U.S. Army’s Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) in Ft. Benning, Ga. will host the 2014 Progressive- Position Pistol National Championships. The two-site system was put in place in hopes of helping drive registration numbers and make event travel easier and more attainable for kids and families participating. Last year, registrations reached 116 and at least 130 pistol competitors are expected when the event kicks off on Friday with pre-event training.

Intended to introduce young athletes to competitive pistol target shooting, the Progressive-Position Pistol Program provides competitive experience and creates an opportunity for youth to begin at an earlier age. As there is no minimum age limit, how early a youth begins depends on their ability to hold and shoot an air pistol as determined by an experienced pistol coach.

Assistant National Team Pistol Coach Eric Pueppke describes the PPP program as a “feeder” for USA Shooting. “We want to get more people in the pyramid coming up to get to our national teams,” he says. “It [the PPP program] provides an avenue for younger people to get started.”  While providing great experience for young athletes, the PPP National Championships also serve as a selection competition for USA Shooting’s newly-formed National Junior Olympic Squad with the top-two finishers earning that designation.

“PPP is growing and we’re really happy to see it,” said USA Shooting Assistant National Team Pistol Coach Steve Faught at the conclusion of last year’s event.  “It’s a grassroots, developmental program and we’re trying to reach kids at a younger age while teaching safety in competitive shooting.  It seems to be working well.”

Recent additions to the PPP program also include additional match opportunities through postal (virtual match) competition three times per year (fall, winter, and spring).

Youth involvement in the pistol discipline is a primary goal of USA Shooting to help create greater participation within the sport and to ultimately increase the quality and depth of our future Olympic pistol athletes.

Joshua Yoo (Irvine, California) won the title in the Men’s International Standing division in 2013 while Darian Shenk (Annville, Pennsylvania), a promising talent among the nation’s best pistol shooters, was the champion of the Women’s International Standing Division. Current National Team member Lydia Paterson (Kansas City) and National Junior Team members Brian Kim (Los Angeles), Helen Oh (Walnut, California) and Cindy Chung (Diamond Bar, California) all got their start shooting PPP.  They’ve risen up through the ranks of USA Shooting since to earn a spot on USA Shooting’s World Championship Team for 2014. Chung declined her spot after earning it through the recent USA Shooting National Championships. Paterson, Kim and Oh will compete in Granada, Spain, as part of an 81-person World Champs Team this September.

Yoo, Oh, Kim and Chung all shoot out of the Bridge Jr. Shooting Club out of La Puente, Calif.  The club, directed by Assistant National Team Coach In Kim, is a rising power on the international pistol scene with athletes consistently earning National and Junior Olympic medals. The trophies presented to the National Champions were donated by Kim as well and create a strong presence for PPP Nationals with their rightful place in the trophy display cases in the lobby of the USA Shooting Center. 

First shots will take place Saturday and conclude with a second match on Sunday.  National Championship awards will be determined by combining results from both venues.  Team awards will also be provided to the top three club teams in each of the PPP categories of Supported Position, Mixed

Supported Position and International Standing Position. National results will be tallied by Orion at the end of each day and after the finals fired at both venues. Each venue will award ‘regional medals’ to the winners at their venues (Western and Eastern). The results from both venues will be uploaded to Orion that will combine and post National results with medalists mailed their medals separately. Match results will be posted at  Junior athletes are eligible to compete up until their 21st birthday.  

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