First Medals Awarded at USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol

FORT BENNING, Georgia (June 12, 2018)

Medals were awarded in five events today at the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol, taking place at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning, Georgia.

On the line are National Championship titles, as well potential invitations to the National and National Junior Teams for medalists in the Olympic events. Medals were awarded in Women’s Air Rifle and Men’s Three-Position Rifle based on the cumulative score from two days of Qualification matches, as well as points earned based on finish in the Final.

In Women’s Air Rifle, Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) was back in top form, winning gold in the event. Beard joined the Army shortly after the 2016 World Cup Finals and has been off the competition circuit until recently, but she’s shown no signs of slowing, posting world-class scores on both days of competition (623.8 and 628.3). Taking the silver was last year’s National Champion Alison Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) and the bronze medal went to reigning Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia).

On the Junior side, Angeline Henry (Fort Worth, Texas) won gold, Sarah Osborn (Hampton Virginia) won silver and relative newcomer Lauren McMahan (Sarasota, Florida), who just started shooting rifle two years ago, won the bronze medal.

Three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey), who lives with his family in the Czech Republic, returned to the U.S. to compete at this year’s National Championships as a tune-up for the upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship later this summer in Changwon, South Korea. He won the event handily by 11 points over two days of competition. Not only did he shoot an impressive 1179 on the first day of Qualification, he bested that score with an 1182 in today’s Qualification, as well as winning today’s Final.

Last year’s National Champion and Emmons’ 2016 Olympic teammate Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia) won the silver medal and George Norton (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Salina, Kansas) won the bronze.

Ohio State’s Jacob Buchanan (Spring, Texas) won the Junior Men’s Three-Position Rifle gold. Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won the silver medal and Peter Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) won the bronze. These three medalists were also the top-three finishers at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in this event earlier this year.

The non-Olympic events of Center Fire Pistol, Standard Pistol and Junior Men’s Sport Pistol were also contested with National Titles awarded, as well as potential slots on the World Championship Team in these events. Results were based on the cumulative score of the two days of Qualification. Complete selection procedures for the World Championship Teams for Rifle and Pistol can be found here:

Rapid Fire Pistol specialist Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won gold in Men’s Standard Pistol. Jack Leverett III (Bainbridge, Georgia) won silver and James Hall (Anniston, Alabama) won the bronze. These athletes had already secured their spots on the World Championship Team in other Pistol events.

Sanderson also won the Center Fire Pistol gold medal. Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida) won the silver and Konstantin Pitsoulis (Brooklyn, New York) won the bronze.

Ryan Yi (Diamond Bar, California) won the Junior Men’s Sport Pistol gold medal. Henry Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia), Jack III’s brother, won the silver medal and Jack Leverett III won the bronze.

This year’s National Championship are also the first Nationals where the new ISSF shooting format was utilized, with men and women shooting the same number of record shots in competition.

In addition to the National Championships, this event is also a World Shooting Para Sport-sanctioned (WSPS, formerly IPC) match so Paralympic athletes from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Columbia are competing across the Paralympic Rifle and Pistol events.

In the P3 (Mixed 25m Pistol SH1) event, the gold medal went to Oleski Denysiuk of Ukraine. The silver medal went to Iryna Liakhu, also of Ukraine. Making his Paralympic competition debut, Xaio Yan (South Pasadena, California) won the bronze medal.

Perhaps the closest Final of the day was in the R4 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Standing SH2) event in which Vitalii Plakushchyi of Ukraine and Jazmin Almlie-Ryan (Houston, Texas) seemed to tie for the lead shot-after-shot throughout the match. It wasn’t until the final two shots that Plakushchyi would come out on top for the gold. Almlie-Ryan took the silver and Phil Eaglesham of Ireland won the bronze.

More than 200 athletes are competing in the National Championships that run through Sunday. This event is free and open to the public, please stop by the Fort Benning Visitor Center for a pass prior to coming to the range. View the complete schedule of events:

View results thus far form the competition:


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