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Team USA Olympic Air Rifle Trials Part II Final Results

Colorado Springs, Colo., February 9, 2020

A tie for a world record and an Olympic Team Selection, Day 2 of Olympic Air Rifle Trials did not disappoint. 

Lucas Kozeniesky (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Mary Tucker (Sarasota, Florida), and Ali Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) have punched their tickets to Tokyo and earned their spots on the USA Shooting Air Rifle Olympic Team. 

Both Kozeniesky and Shaner had a great Day 2, securing their Olympic Spots before the finals even took place. Kozeniesky also tied a world record with his Day 2 score of 633.5. Shaner held onto second place from Day 1 heading into Day 2. They are the first U.S. shooters to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (teamusa.org). 

“I can’t put it into words, but the ability to represent the nation is a lot, and to do it at the Olympics again is a big deal and I’ll cherish that for the rest of my life,” said Kozeniesky. “Mens air rifle has never had a medalist, we’ve had a finalist but never a medal, so I'm looking to conquer that this year .”

Similarly, Tucker secured her Olympic Team spot before finals, but for Weisz it came down to the finals competition. Tucker came out of the first stage of the trials with 1256.4 points and the lead over the entire field, including 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher. 

“I still wanted to do really well in the finals even though I already knew [what the outcome was] I wanted to go and represent the best I can and this is not the end it’s just the beginning,” said Tucker, University of Kentucky Air Rifle Athlete and now Olympic Team Member.

Weisz was in second place after Trials Part I back in December, and while she finished sixth in Sunday’s final, her performances in December and in Saturday’s competition was enough to give her second overall.

“The biggest thing I was working on this weekend was shooting my match and not worrying about others, just focusing on what I can control,” said Weisz Graduate Assistant Coach at University of Memphis Air Rifle Team. “There’s a lot of great athletes here and it could have been any one of us. I’m going to go back to my team at home and take it one step at a time, dig in and train hard.”

Matt Sanchez (Tampa, Florida) and Peter Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) secured their spots as alternates for the men and Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, California)  and Sarah Beard (Columbus, Georgia) the women’s alternate team members. 

“For me, I was very impressed with the level of competition, I think there was a lot of superior coaching going on,” said Bob Gambardella, Interim CEO USA Shooting. “There were exciting times, with nail biting moments. It had all the great elements of an Olympic Tournament.”

For these four athletes, the Olympic journey has just begun. They will continue to train at NCAA competitions, International World Cup Events, and at their home Shooting Clubs. Kozeniesky, Shaner, Tucker, and Weisz will reunite at the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo, April 15-27. 

Highlights from USA Shooting’s Paralympic competitions included rifle shooter McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington) who ended the weekend on top in both Mixed Standing SH2 and Mixed Prone SH2 disciplines. Rifle shooter Taylor Farmer (Castalia, Ohio) also put up two first place finishes including one in Mixed Standing SH1 and Mixed Prone SH1. 

Final results from Olympic Trials Part II please visit: https://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/0_2020/AR_P2/Results_/Air_Rifle_Part_2_Final_Results.pdf

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