COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. –-(Ammoland.com)- Great thing for Team USA in having Winchester Ammunition as its sponsor, because the team might need another shipment of ammo before leaving Granada following Jeff Holguin's (Yorba Linda, Calif.) exhilarating foray into the Men's Double Trap Finals.
It only took him 206 shots to be the sixth USA Shooting Team athlete to qualify for finals at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Granada (Spain) World Cup.
USAMU soldier Jeff Holguin had to be perfect on 56 consecutive shots to even earn a chance at his first World Cup finals appearance since 2010.
All told, Holguin took 266 shots out of his trusty Perazzi Mix 2005 on the day, hitting all but 20 of them.
Highlighted by a bronze medal from two-time Olympian Corey Cogdell (Eagle River, Alaska), the 48-person American contingent competing in Granada has now placed six athletes into finals of the season's last World Cup event. The U.S. Team has also had 12 top-15 performances overall.
In qualifying, Holguin finished with a score of 140/150 to tie with Kuwait's Fehaid Aldeehani and Russia's Vasily Mosin for the sixth position in the Finals. Aldeehani would be eliminated after missing his fourth shot and then the real show would begin in a duel for the ages between the fourth-place finisher from the Beijing Olympics, Holguin, and the 2012 Olympic bronze Medalist, Mosin. Neither competitor would give in until an unprecedented 56th-shot when Holguin connected after a Mosin miss.
It had his teammate, 2012 Olympian, Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.) on the edge of his seat taking it all in over the internet stateside: “I think it's an amazing feat to fight that much to get in the final.”
In the new finals format, all six finalists compete in a 15-pair shoot-off to determine rankings and medal match-ups. The 56-shot elimination to even compete seemed to take a toll on Holguin early on as he dropped six targets through his first seven pairs. He'd come back to nail his final eight pairs to secure a berth in the bronze-medal match.
In a windy bronze medal clash, Holguin would face Russia's Vitaly Fokeev, the 2006 World Champion and veteran of three previous Olympic Games having finished as high as fifth at the recent 2012 Games in London. Tied with two misses apiece after 9/15 doubles, Fokeev would go on to not miss a pair the rest of the way while Holguin missed two targets to fall to fourth overall. Still, the finish was Holguin's first finals appearance since he earned the bronze medal in the Dorset, England World Cup in 2010.
Led by Holguin, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) enjoyed a stellar day in Granada with four top-15 finishes. Holguin's USAMU teammates in Double Trap included Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas) who finished one-target out from joining the qualification shoot-off with a 139 while Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) finished 15th overall with a 138.
USAMU rifle shooter Jason Parker (Omaha, Neb.) would miss the finals by one point in the Men's Prone Rifle event as he finished 11th. Daniel Lowe (Olympian, Wash.) finished 29th while 2013 National Champion Justin Tracy (Farmington, N.Y.) scored a 44th-place finish on his first World Cup trip.
In the Women's 10m Air Pistol event, Teresa Meyer-Chambers (Dearborn, Mich.) would finish as the highest-ranked American in 29th while Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Ala.) and Lydia Patterson (Kansas City, Kan.) finished 37th and 51st, respectively. This was 16-year-old Patterson's first World Cup.
Four-time Olympian Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Fla.) has put himself in great position on Day 1 of the Men's Rapid Fire Pistol event. Milev currently sits in second place after the first of two relays in the event. He'll aim for a spot in the finals on Tuesday. Keith Sanderson (Kailua, Hawaii) struggled to a 24th-place position while Brad Balsley (Phenix City, Ala.) sits in 35th place.
After a sixth-place finish in Air Rifle, Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Mass.) showed she's on-point as well in the three-position smallbore event ahead of tomorrow's qualification and final. In an elimination event (used to pare down the large field of competitors), Scherer scored the second highest score, shooting a 586. Not far behind was her good friend and former TCU teammate Sarah Beard (Danville, Ind.), shooting a 583 in preparation for tomorrow. Emily Holsopple (Wilcox, Pa.) shot a 570. The trio will try to equal or even better those results tomorrow.
Along with the conclusion of Men's Rapid Fire Pistol and Women's Three-Position Rifle, the Granada World Cup will continue with the first of two days featuring Men's Three-Position Rifle. The Shotgun events conclude Wednesday and Thursday with Women's and Men's Skeet. The U.S. Shotgun Team will be trying to ensure finalists in all five events after putting forth four in the first three events highlighted by Cogdell and her bronze medal last Friday after a perfect qualifying World Record-score of 75.
For up-to-date ISSF Granada World Cup results, click here: http://www.issf-sports.org/calendar/championship_schedule_by_discipline.ashx?cshipid=1446
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.