COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –-(Ammoland.com)- It's the last day of competition, the final bullets have been fired at the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol and the once bustling firing lines at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) are now quiet.
The more than 350 competitors and dedicated volunteers from virtually every state (and even beyond the U.S. borders) have gone home; but this time as National Champions, National Team members and with a whole lot of new memories.
From June 3-9 2013, 23 National Championship titles were awarded in both Junior and Open divisions with the medalists in the Open Olympic disciplines earning spots on the National Team and berths in the upcoming World Cup in Granada, Spain in July. The top-two Juniors in the Olympic events also earned berths on the National Junior Team.
But to say the National Championships shined a spotlight on just “the best” in our sport doesn't tell the whole story.
Of course, there were current National Team members who continued to prove why they're some of the best. Three-time Olympian Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) claimed the two gold medals in the only events he competed in at this year's National Championships: Men's Air and Free Pistol.
There's also Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.) who claimed titles in Women's Prone and Three-Position Rifle, as well as took bronze in Women's Air Rifle. The gold medalist in the Women's Air Rifle event Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.) once again retained her national title as did her fellow Olympic teammate Jason Parker (USAMU/Omaha, Neb.) in Men's Three-Position Rifle.
“I definitely worked really hard for both smallbore titles,” said Beard, the recent graduate of Texas Christian University. “My approach to this match was training both hard and smart, and it paid off. I've got some work to do to achieve at the international level, but this has been a good match that I've learned a lot from!”
But then there were new, up-and-comers to take notice of on the podiums this year. One such shooter: Justin Tracy (Farmington, N.Y.) who claimed the National Championship title in Men's Prone Rifle. The 37-year-old with minimal military experience who took up competitive shooting after his college years bested National Champions, World Cup medalists and Olympians to take the gold in this event.
“I was one of the few shooters in [both finals] so that gave me a real advantage and I just ran with it!” Tracy said excitedly.
A star on the rise to note at this event was Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.) who became the lone Junior to claim a National Championship title in the Open division.. Davis took gold in Men's Air Rifle and earned himself a spot on the Granada, Spain World Cup team along with a promotion to the National Team at the age of 20.
“I've been really looking forward to air gun all week and I was really just looking forward to coming out and putting up a solid performance,” Davis said. “I didn't really expect to win, just to do well. I was really confident for the juniors' championship, but to win the full men's open National Championship is really special.”
In addition to this title, he also claimed the gold in Junior Air and silver in Junior Three-Position.
Another standout Junior performance came from Lydia Patterson (Kansas City, Kan.) who claimed the silver medal in the Women's Air Pistol event at just 16yearsof age making her one of the youngest athletes to ever compete on the National Team. She also won Junior Air Pistol and took second in the Junior Sport Pistol event.
Other National Junior Team members who earned promotions to the National Team due to their medal-winning performances are Daniel Lowe (Olympia, Wash.) for his bronze medal in Men's Prone Rifle and Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pa.) for her silver in Women's Three-Position Rifle.
New members to the National and Developmental Paralympic teams were also named during this year's National Championships with eight new athletes being named to the Paralympic Development Team and one new athlete named to the Paralympic National Team. New Paralympic Development Team members are Jazmin Almlie (Houston, Texas), Nick Beach, McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Wash.), Tammy Delano (Rome, N.Y.), Kerry Morris (Grand Prairie, Texas), Mike Tagliapietra (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Shaun Tichenor (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Eric Trueblood (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Named to the National Paralympic Team is John Joss (Fort Michael, Ala.).
This year's match introduced a new format to select National Champions and World Cup competitors. Scores are a combined total of points including qualification scores from each day and additional points awarded for placing in each day's final (eight additional points awarded for first, seven points for second, six points for third and so on for all finals positions). For more information on this amendment, please click here: http://bit.ly/18P2ebn.
View all of the results from the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol at http://bit.ly/15U3Ixo.
The National Championships for Shotgun will be contested in Colorado Springs July 24 – August 3, 2013.
- Men's Air Rifle: Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.)
- Women's Air Rifle: Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.)
- Men's Three-Position Rifle: Jason Parker (Omaha, Neb.)
- Women's Three-Position Rifle: Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.)
- Men's Standard Pistol: Greg Markowski (Fort Benning, Ga.)
- Center Fire Pistol: Brad Balsley (Phenix City, Ala.)
- Men's Air Pistol: Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.)
- Women's Air Pistol: Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.)
- Men's Prone Rifle: Justin Tracy (Farmington, N.Y.)
- Women's Prone Rife: Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.)
- Rapid Fire Pistol: Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.)
- Men's Free Pistol: Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.)
- Women's Sport Pistol: Teresa Meyer Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.)
- Paralympic 10m Air Rifle Prone: John Joss (Fort Michael, Ala.)
Junior National Champions
- Men's Air Rifle: Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.)
- Women's Air Rifle: Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Ark)
- Men's Three-Position Rifle: Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Mo.)
- Women's Three-Position Rifle: Rachel Martin (Peralta, N.M.)
- Men's Sport Pistol: Timothy Steinberg (Annapolis, Md.)
- Women's Sport Pistol: Cindy Chung (Diamond Bar, Calif.)
- Men's Air Pistol: Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Fla.)
- Women's Air Pistol: Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.)
- Men's Prone Rifle: Kevin Sui (West Covina, Calif.)
New 2013-14 National Team Members
- Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, S.D.)
- Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.)
- Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pa.)
- Daniel Lowe (Olympia, Wash.)
- Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.)
- Justin Tracy (Farmington, N.Y.)
- Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Md.)
- Jay Shi (Phoenix, Ariz.)
- Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.)
- Teresa Meyer Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.)
- Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Ariz.)
New 2013-14 National Junior Team Members
- Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Ark.)
- Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.)
- Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Mo.)
- Kevin Sui (West Covina, Calif.)
- David Higgins (San Clemente, Calif.)
- Minden Miles (Weatherford, Texas)
- Timothy Steinberg (Annapolis, Md.)
For a complete roster of USA Shooting National Team athletes, click here: http://www.usashooting.org/the-team/usashootingteam
View all photos from the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle & Pistol at www.flickr.com/usashooting.
About USA Shooting:
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting's mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country. Check us out on the web at www.usashooting.org and on Twitter at twitter.com/USAShooting