Shotgun Kicks Off World Cup Season in Mexico

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (March 15, 2019)

For many Americans, a trip to Acapulco this time of year represents a spring break vacation full of rest and relaxation. This trip should be anything but for the 19 USA Shooting athletes who’ve made their way to Mexico in pursuit of World Cup medals and Olympic quotas at the first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup for Shotgun in 2019.

An Olympic quota is essentially a country’s ticket to participate in a specific event in the 2020 Olympic Games. Earning an Olympic quota in competition ensures the country a spot in that particular event, not necessarily the athlete. Of the eight individual athlete quotas the United States would need to send a full Shotgun team, U.S. athletes have earned five, with the maximum number of quotas earned in Men’s and Women’s Skeet. One of two possible quotas have been earned in Women’s Trap, and none thus far in Men’s Trap.  Shotgun athletes will earn Olympic Team slots via a trials system which can be viewed here:

Action kicks off Sunday with the Women’s Trap competition. The U.S. is poised to do well and looks to pick up that final quota with Championship of the Americas bronze medalist Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California), National Champion Aeriel Skinner (Jackson, California, pictured) and 14-year-old Junior National and National Junior Olympic Champion Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee). Mexico has been good to the women of the Trap team as Carroll has won two World Cup gold medals here (Acapulco in 2017 and Guadalajara in 2018) and Skinner won bronze in Guadalajara in 2018. Skinner also tied the Qualification World Record of 119/125 targets en route to her bronze-medal win. Carroll and Skinner also narrowly missed out on an Olympic quota when they finished third and fourth respectively at the Championship of the Americas in Guadalajara in November.

The men’s side will see Championship of the Americas bronze medalist and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Glenn Eller (Katy, Texas/U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit), Brian Burrows (Fallbrook, California) and Will Hinton (Dacula, Georgia/USAMU) on the quota hunt. Eller narrowly missed out on possibly winning the United States its first Men’s Trap quota since 2008 when he won bronze at the Championship of the Americas in November. Burrows won silver at the Acapulco World Cup back in 2013 and finished sixth here in 2015. Eller and Skinner will also pair up for the Trap Mixed Team event, as well as Burrows and Championship of the Americas gold medalist Kayle Browning (Wooster, Arkansas). Eller/Skinner finished fourth in the Trap Mixed Team event at the Championship of the Americas in November.

Skeet competition begins with the women kicking off competition on March 23. Six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) leads the young Women’s Skeet contingent to Mexico. Rhode won gold at the 2017 and 2010 World Cups in Acapulco, as well as the 2018 World Cup in Guadalajara. She’ll be busy at this match as she will also shoot for a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) in Women’s Trap. (MQS athletes are not eligible for Finals or awards.) Joining her in Skeet will be Junior World Championship bronze medalist Austen Smith (Kellar, Texas) and National Championships silver medalist Sam Simonton (Gainesville, Georgia).

Leading the men will be two-time Olympic gold medalist and reigning World Champion Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), two-time Olympian and Championship of the Americas gold medalist Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) and Elijah Ellis (College Station, Texas). Hancock won gold at every international competition in which he competed in 2018 and doesn’t look to stop his streak now, including equaling the Qualification World Record (125/125 targets) and Finals World Record (59/60 targets) at the World Championship in September. Thompson won his first World Cup medal in Acapulco when he took silver in 2017.

The individual athletes for this World Cup were selected during the Summer Selection Match in Kerrville, Texas and Mixed Teams were selected during the National Championships last year. More than 350 athletes form 61 countries will compete at this World Cup, which begins Sunday and runs through March 25. A complete schedule of events can be found here:


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