Shooting Athletes Claim Four Medals, One Quota Today at Pan American Games

TORONTO (July 13, 2015)

The U.S. Pan American Shooting Team had a very busy day as the team picked up one gold, one silver and two bronze medals today in Men’s Air Rifle and Women’s Trap at the Pan Am Shooting Centre.

The day kicked off with Men’s Air Rifle athletes Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Maryland, left) and Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Kentucky, right) finishing first and third respectively in Qualification. Wallizer set a Pan American Games Record with his score of 624.9 – more than six points ahead of his nearest competitor. Davis scored a 616.2.

But in the Finals, it was Davis who would shine, claiming a gold medal and an Olympic quota for the U.S. On the last shot of the Final with Julio Iemma of Venezuela, Davis held just a .1 lead. Davis got his shot of 10.3 off early and Iemma was unable to catch him, shooting just a 10.1.

"I just shot the shots I needed to at the right time. It wasn't a great final my any means but I got the shots I needed to when they counted,” Davis said. “You just try and keep your cool the best you can. The crowd was into it and I was just trying to get into it and not get too out of sorts. I get off the shot as quick as possible; getting to it really fast and shooting the shot when I need to and not letting the crowd get in my head."

Davis’ win also secured the second and final Olympic quota slot the U.S. needed in Men’s Air Rifle. Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) won the other quota at the Championship of the Americas last year. More information on selection procedures and quotas for the 2016 Olympic Games can be found here.

Iemma won the silver medal and Wallizer won a bronze medal in the event.

By the conclusion of Qualification of Women’s Trap, Kayle Browning (Wooster, Arkansas, left) and Kimberley Bowers (Lafayette, California, right) were in the first and second position with 63 and 62 target a piece.

After the semifinal in the bronze-medal match, Bowers tied Ana Latorre of Puerto Rico at 11 targets. It looked like Bowers going to wrap up the bronze-medal match in the 15 regulations targets; however, Latorre hit three in a row to tie her. Bowers went on to win the shootoff, 2 to 1 and win the bronze medal.

Browning tied Amanda Chudoba of Canada at 13 targets in the semifinal to move on to the gold-medal match. It looked like Browning was out of it early as she dropped four of her first six targets, but then she ran for nine straight to tie Chudoba at 11 targets. In the shootoff, Browning missed her second shot to lose to Chudoba, 2 to 1 and take the silver medal.

"Overall I think [my Final] went good, but I was disappointed that I knew where it was going and I missed it,” Browning said. “But it happens…I know there were only two women here [in this event] from the USA, so of all the women competing, to be standing up there with a silver is a pretty humbling feeling."

Women’s Air Rifle also took place today with the youngest competitors of the U.S. Pan American Shooting Team taking the line. Sixteen-year-old Sarah Osborn (Hampton, Viriginia) finished in 13th place with a score of 406.3 and 17-year-old Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) finished third in Qualification with a score of 411.7 to advance to her first international Open Final. Once in the Final, Marsh was the first athlete eliminated in the eighth position.

Men’s Trap continues tomorrow with an additional 75 targets. Following the first two rounds of 25 each today, Myles Walker (Elkhorn, Wisconsin) is in the lead with 47 targets. Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) is currently in 10th place with 44 targets but is still very much in the hunt as seven shooters are tied for third with just one additional target at 45.

Women’s Sport and Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol start their first stages tomorrow as well. Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) will once again take the line at these Pan Am Games, along with 2008 Olympian Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Arizona).

Uptagrafft, who finished in eighth place yesterday in Women’s Pistol looks to have a stronger performance in this event as she won gold at the Pan American Games in 2003, 2007 and silver in 2011. Silva, the reigning National Champion in the event, looks to build on her 10th place finish at World Cup USA where she missed the Final by just two points.

The U.S. has yet to acquire a quota in Women’s Sport Pistol and only one competitor – Andrea Perez Pena of Ecuador - has earned a quota.

Men’s Rapid Fire also starts with six-time Olympian Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Florida) looking to defend his 2011 Pan American Games title. He will be joined in the event by Brad Balsley (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit. The U.S. has already earned one quota in the event when Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won silver at World Cup Munich, and only one athlete competing tomorrow has a quota – 2012 Olympic gold medalist Leuris Pupo of Cuba.

Competition continues tomorrow in Men’s Trap at 9:00 a.m. ET. Men’s Rapid Fire Pistol starts Stage 1 tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. as well. The Women’s Sport Pistol Precision Stage also starts tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. Follow along for live updates from the Pan American Games on facebook and twitter.  Start lists and results are also available on the Toronto 2015 website.

Categories: Press Releases, Pan American Games 2015