Lagan Wins Gold, Olympic Quota in Women’s 25m Sport Pistol; Seven Additional Medals Earned at Championship of the Americas

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (November 7, 2018)

Not only did Alexis Lagan pick up her first international gold medal today at the 12th Championship of the Americas (CAT) at the Club Cinegetico Jalisciense in Guadalajara, Mexico, she also won the United States an Olympic quota in the event for the 2020 Olympic Games.

2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) also won the bronze medal in the event.

Lagan (Boulder City, Nevada) entered the Final with the third-highest Qualification score of 580, which included a world-class score of 295 in the Rapid series. Once in the Final, Lagan didn’t pull to the front of the pack until over halfway through to set an Americas Finals record of 29 hits. Uptagrafft was eliminated in the bronze-medal position with 23 hits.

“I’m so excited about today!” said Lagan. “It was a very interesting Final with Sandra and I up there and getting the reverse. It was so neat to get two US people on the podium and to get that quota for the USA. I know that this means a lot for our Pistol program and I’m very excited to represent them in this way. I know this quota is just one step closer to earning a ticket to Tokyo!” 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.

Katelyn Abeln (Douglasville, Georgia) finished in 12th place with a score of 563, just one point out of a potential Finals berth. With their combined scores in Qualification, Lagan, Uptagrafft and Abeln earned a team gold medal.

It’s been a big week for Lagan, who had never picked up an international medal prior to CAT. Earlier in the week she just missed an Olympic quota by winning silver just one point back from the top of the podium in Women’s Air Pistol. She also won gold with her Air Pistol Mixed Team teammate Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana) in that event. Today, however, Lagan got redemption for the individual gold and the Olympic quota she’s been chasing, leading into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. This quota was the fifth for the USA Shooting Team at this event, and the ninth thus far between this competition and the ISSF World Championship in Changwon, South Korea in September.

Also winning gold today was Sarah Beard who took home the individual gold in the Women’s 50m Prone Rifle event. Prone Rifle (for men or women) is not an Olympic event and no Finals were held or quotas were awarded. Beard (Danville, Indiana) finished her 60 shots of Qualification with a score of 617.7 to win the gold. Hannah Black (Richmond, Virginia) won individual bronze with her score of 612.8. With Beard, Black and Mackensie Martin’s (Murray, Kentucky) combined score of 1836.5, the three women won the team gold medal in the event. Martin finished in ninth place with a score of 606.0

In Men’s 50m Prone Rifle, 2016 Olympian Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia) won the individual bronze medal with a score of 618.9. He, George Norton (Salina, Kansas/U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit), who finished in eighth place with a score of 614.5 and Air Rifle gold medalist Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), who finished in sixth place with a score of 615.2, won a team gold medal for their combined score of 1848.6.

In Men’s 25m Standard Pistol, James Hall (Anniston, Alabama) finished in sixth place with a score of 553. He also finished in eighth place in Men’s 50m Free Pistol with a score of 523. Hall won an Olympic quota for the United States in Men’s Air Pistol earlier in the week. Read that recap.

Results from CAT

Competition continues tomorrow with the start of pre-event training for Men’s and Women’s Skeet.

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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