Colorado Springs, Colo. –-(Ammoland.com)- Along with their medals at last month's USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol, the top-three finishers in each Olympic discipline got something else too – a berth on the U.S. World Cup team en route to sun-drenched southeast Spain.
But this Fourth of July trip won't be a vacation for the 25 rifle and pistol athletes that make up perhaps the strongest U.S. World Cup team of 2013. This World Cup will also be the biggest as all shooting disciplines are combined for the first time this year with 1,018 athletes from 78 nations expected to participate in this last World Cup event of the year – the ISSF Granada World Cup at the Shooting Range CEAR de Tiro Olimpico Juan Carlos I, July 5 – 12.
Granada is set to host the 2014 ISSF World Championships next September and this event will help give the participating athletes a preview of things to come next year.
Four-time Olympian and Men's Three-Position Rifle specialist Jason Parker (USAMU/Omaha, Neb., pictured above) took gold in this event and silver in Prone at the National Championships and looks to better his Changwon and World Cup USA appearances. His qualification scores on each of the two-days of Three-Position competition at Nationals would have put him in the top two at the last World Cup in Munich.
Also competing in Three-Position is World Cup silver medalist Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and 2012 Olympian Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wis.) who placed second and third respectively in this event at Nationals. Christenson took silver in Air Rifle at World Cup USA and will once again compete in that event in Granada. McPhail, a Prone specialist who took silver in Changwon and seventh in that event at World Cup USA will only compete in Three-Position Rifle in Granada and shoot Prone as an extra shooter (not for ranking).
Making his World Cup debut is new National Team member Justin Tracy (Farmington, N.Y.) in Prone Rifle. The 37-year-old didn't start competitive shooting until well after his college years and had only minimal military experience as a part-time member of the New York Air National Guard, though at Nationals he beat a field full of Olympians and World Cup medalists to take gold. Shooting Prone along with Parker and Tracy will be Daniel Lowe (Olympia, Wash.) who took third at Nationals in this event.
In Men's Air Rifle, Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.) has been on a gold-medal rush in the event with his wins at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC), the National Championships and most recently, his gold medal at the 23rdMeeting of the Shooting Hopes in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Air Rifle is the only event he'll shoot in Granada.
On the women's side, 2012 Olympian Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass., pictured right) makes her return to the international competitive scene following her recent graduation from Texas Christian University. Scherer, who won gold at the National Championships in Air and bronze in Three-Position Rifle, will compete in both of these events. Her TCU teammate Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.) who took gold in Three-Position and Silver in Air Rifle will also be competing. Scherer and Beard's qualification scores in both events would have put them in the finals hunt at the most recent World Cup in Munich.New National Team members Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pa.) and Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.) will compete in Three-Position and Air Rifle respectively.
The pistol team isn't short on experience either with 16 Olympic Games appearances among the 12 athletes.
World Cup USA gold medalist and Munich World Cup seventh-place finisher Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho, pictured right) looks to continue his success in Air Pistol in Granada with some pressure from fellow American, three-time Olympian and Air Pistol National Champion Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.). New National Team member Jay Shi (Phoenix, Ariz.) will also compete in this event.
Turner also captured the National Champion title in Free Pistol, the other event in which he will compete at this World Cup. He will be joined in this event by 2008 Olympian Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.) and four-time Olympian Daryl Szarenski (Seale, Ala.).
The Rapid Fire competitors are strong as well – all posting scores at Nationals that would have qualified them for the finals at the most recent World Cup in Munich. They're led by four-time Olympian and Rapid Fire National Champion Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.). Also competing are two-time Olympian Keith Sanderson (Kailua, Hawaii) and National Team member Brad Balsley (USAMU/Phenix City, Ala.) who placed second and third respectively in the event at Nationals. Sanderson placed fifth in Rapid Fire in his last World Cup showing at Fort Benning, Ga. while he was recovering from a forearm injury so look for another strong performance from him.
The women's side contains a mix of both youth and experience. The youngest and newest member to the National Team – 16-year-old Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan., left) – claimed silver in Air Pistol at National Championships and will make her World Cup debut in Granada. Paterson will share the Air Pistol firing line with veterans Teresa Meyer-Chambers
(Dearborn, Mich., right) and 2012 Olympian and Air Pistol National Champion Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala., center).
Competing in Women's Sport Pistol is 2008 Olympian Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Ariz.) who placed third in the event at Nationals.
For more information about the Granada World Cup, please click here:
For a preview of the U.S. Shotgun Team competing in Granada released Tuesday, click here:
ISSF Granada World Cup — Rifle/Pistol Schedule
Saturday, July 6
- Men's 10m Air Rifle
- Women's 25m Sport Pistol (Precision)
- Men's 50m Free Pistol Qualifying
Sunday, July 7
- Women's 10m Air Rifle
- Women's 25m Sport Pistol (Rapid Fire + Final)
- Men's 50m Free Pistol (Qualifying + Final)
- Men's Prone Rifle Qualifying
Monday, July 8
- Women's 10m Air Pistol
- Men's Rapid Fire Pistol (Stage 1)
- Men's Prone Rifle (Qualifying + Final)
- Women's 50m Three-Position Rifle Qualifying
Tuesday, July 9
- Men's Rapid Fire Pistol (Stage 2 + Final)
- Women's 50m Three-Position Rifle (Qualifying + Final)
- Men's 50m Three-Position Rifle Qualifying
Wednesday, July 10
- Men's 10m Air Pistol
- Men's 50m Three-Position Rifle (Qualifying + Final)
ISSF Granada World Cup Rifle/Pistol Team
- Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, S.D.) – 3P; Air
- Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.) – Air
- Daniel Lowe (Olympia, Wash.) – 3P (MQS); Prone; Air (MQS)
- Michael McPhail (USAMU/Darlington, Wis.) – 3P; Prone (MQS)
- Jason Parker (USAMU/Omaha, Neb.) – 3P; Prone
- Justin Tracy (Farmington, N.Y.) – Prone
- Eric Uptagrafft (USAMU/Phenix City, Ala.) – Prone (MQS)
- Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Md.) – 3P (MQS); Air
- Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.) – 3P; Air
- Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.) – 3P (MQS) & Air (MQS)
- Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pa.) – 3P; Air (MQS)
- Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.) – 3P; Air
- Amy Sowash (Richmond, Ky.) – 3P (MQS); Air
- Brad Balsley (Phenix City, Ala.) – Rapid Fire
- Brian Beaman (Selby, S.D.) – Free; Air (MQS)
- Will Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) – Free (MQS); Air
- Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) – Rapid Fire
- Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.) – Air
- Keith Sanderson (Kailua, Hawaii) – Rapid Fire
- Jay Shi (Phoenix, Ariz.) – Free (MQS); Air
- Daryl Szarenski (Seale, Ala.) – Free
- Jason Turner (Rochester, N.Y.) – Free; Air
- Teresa Meyer-Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.) – Air; Sport
- Brenda Silva (Snowflake, Ariz.) – Sport
- Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) – Air; Sport
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