Hall and Miles Win Individual Gold at Championship of the Americas, Weisz Silver

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (November 3, 2018)

James Hall and Mindy Miles won gold in the opening events of Men’s Air Pistol and Women’s Air Rifle at the 12th Championship of the Americas (CAT) in Guadalajara, Mexico. Ali Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) also won silver in the Women’s Air Rifle event.

Along with the gold-medal win, Hall (Anniston, Alabama) and Miles (Weatherford, Texas) each won an Olympic quota for the United States in their respective events. Earning an Olympic quota in competition ensures the country a spot in that particular event, not necessarily the athlete. Athletes will earn Olympic Team slots via a trials system established by USA Shooting. Today’s medal finishes were also the first international medals for Hall, Miles and Weisz.

Hall qualified for the Men’s Air Pistol Final with the second-highest score of 574. Once in the Final, Hall jumped to the lead early and finished the Final with a four-point lead to set an Americas Finals record of 240.9.

“Winning a quota in my first international Final is an amazing achievement!” said Hall. “After working the past two years with coach Libby Callahan, I felt like I really polished my shot process and felt strong going into the event. I felt like I worked through the match exactly as I have been training and was mentally prepared for it. [National Coach] Jason Turner gave me a great strategy to keep me calm through the Final, which totally paid off.”

2012 Olympian Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana) finished Qualification with the highest score of 577. He was eliminated in fifth place in the Final. Jack Leverett III (Bainbridge, Georgia) just missed a potential Finals berth by one point with his score of 566 to finish in ninth place. Together Hall, Mowrer and Leverett won a team gold medal for their combined scores. 

In Women’s Air Rifle, Miles finished Qualification with the fourth-highest score of 623.4 and Weisz finished Qualification with a world-class score 627.0, the highest in the competition. Miles and Weisz took turns taking over the lead in the Final, but with Weisz’s 9.4 on her last shot, Miles’ last shot of 10.6 would win the gold by .5 point and set an Americas record with her score of 248.4. Miles bested her seventh-place finish in this event at the previous CAT in Guadalajara in 2014, her highest international finish prior to today. Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) finished Qualification with the second-highest Qualification score of 626.1 but was eliminated in sixth place in the Final. Together Miles, Weisz and Beard won a team gold medal for their combined scores.

“After having a sub-par match, I really wanted to win a quota for the U.S.,” said Miles. “Obviously during the Final, I was behind Ali, but my thought in the moment was to absolutely secure the quota. If I couldn’t win it, I would make sure no other country would be within grasping distance of it. I’m a little dazed by winning! We are all Team USA, and if I wasn’t going to win it (because I was behind) I sure was going to protect Ali’s claim to it. Now that I’ve won though, I’m glad Ali was right beside me on that podium”

Complete results from CAT

Competition continues tomorrow with the Men’s Air Rifle and Women’s Air Pistol events with Finals later in the day. Men’s and Women’s Trap will also start their first of two days of competition with the first 75/125 targets. One Olympic quota is available in each event -  except Men’s and Women’s Trap - which have two quotas available in each event.

CAT is also the only opportunity for athletes to earn quotas for the Pan American Games next summer in Lima, Peru. Two Olympic quotas will be available in each individual event at the Pan American Games and is the last chance for athletes to earn quotas prior to the 2020 Olympic Games. 

Complete schedule of events

Athletes competing in CAT  

About CAT: The Shooting Confederation of the Americas (Confederaciòn Americana de Tiro - CAT) was founded and recognized by the ISSF in 1973 as the Continental Confederation for the Shooting Sport for all countries of the North and South America.  

Shikar Safari Club International Foundation: USA Shooting received a generous grant of $50,000 to support the Pistol program from the Shikar Safari Club International Foundation.  The grant will be used to prepare our athletes for 2020 Olympics through training camps and domestic/international competitions.  Funds were used for the World Championship in South Korea and will be used for CAT as well. Throughout the years, the Shikar Foundation has been a huge supporter of USA Shooting; providing funds that would build a Trap bunker and Skeet field.  They also financially supported a project for the 25m Rapid Fire and Sport Pistol targets that were converted in 2010 at the Olympic Shooting Center. Learn more here. 

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