Colorado Springs, CO -(AmmoLand.com)- Twenty-five athletes from 13 different states get the opportunity to open up the competitive shotgun season competing at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup for Shotgun in Nicosia, Cyprus, March 19-24.
The precedent is mighty for USA Shooting’s shotgun athletes given the 12 World Championship medals and 13 World Cup medals the team earned in 2015. But with six Olympic veterans like Kim Rhode (El Monte, California), Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas), Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska), Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), Josh Richmond (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania) and Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, California) all a part of the World Cup mix to begin 2016, it helps the expectation level rise once again. Not to mention, Rio-bound World Champion Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pennsylvania) and Junior World Championships silver medalist Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas) are also a part of the arsenal of top quality shooters head coach Todd Graves has at his disposal.
Many of the 25 athletes attending participated in a Puerto Rico training camp opportunity in February to help get them ready for the season. Fourteen athletes will compete for medals while another 11 athletes will compete for Minimum Qualifying Scores (MQS). Count those already qualified for the Olympic Games like Craft and Eller as among those ready to take their first competitive shots of the season in Cyprus.
“I’m excited to start off the year in Cyprus at a range I’m fairly familiar with,” said Craft. “I’m looking forward to getting back into the international swing. I hope to come away with a few things that I can improve on and use in my training to better myself for the next World Cup in Rio and of course the Olympic Games in August.”
Asked if he sees the Olympic lead-up World Cup events as a mini-Olympics, Eller wouldn’t go that far.
“I’m using each World Cup to test my game,” he said. “But, I could win every World Cup in lead-up to the Games and not do well at the Games. What good is that? These World Cups are to see where I can improve and get better. I want my game to be fundamentally sound, so even if I have a bad day in Rio it’s better than everyone’s good day.”
Headed to his fifth consecutive Olympic Games, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist Eller will compete in two events including his customary double trap discipline while adding trap to his competitive slate as he attempts to earn an Olympic MQS to perhaps earn the opportunity to shoot both in Rio. He’ll look to shoot 112/125 in order to accomplish that feat.
Junior standouts Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan), Jungman, Dustin McGowen (Greenwood, Arkansas), and Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Georgia) will make their World Cup debuts. The 16-year-old Jacob was the surprise competitor for part one of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials last fall in Tucson, Arizona, climbing into third place behind Rhode, her shooting teammate in Cyprus, as well as Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colorado). She was a junior finalist at the 2015 World Championships, finishing sixth.
Since Juniors began shooting in the ISSF World Championship in 1989, Jungman is the first American male to win two individual World Championship medals after winning silver in 2015 and bronze in 2014. McGowen and Barfield both participated in World Championships as juniors in 2015.
Cyprus World Cup Schedule:
- Saturday, March 19 – Double Trap; Men’s Skeet Day 1
- Sunday, March 20 – Men’s Skeet Day 2 + Final
- Monday, March 21 – Women’s Trap
- Tuesday, March 22 – Women’s Skeet
- Wednesday, March 23 – Men’s Trap Day 1
- Thursday, March 24 – Men’s Trap Day 2 + Final
NOTE: Cyprus is six hours ahead of Eastern Time.
Tune in to all the action via the International Shooting Sport Federation.
USA Shooting Roster
- Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia)
- TJ Bayer (College Station, Texas)
- Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas)
- Remington McBee (Brady, Texas)
- Aaron Wilson (Lansing, Kansas)
- Kim Rhode (El Monte, California)
- Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pennsylvania)
- Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan)
- Kendall Reed (Azle, Texas)
- Samantha Simonton (Gainesville, Georgia)
- Janessa Beaman (Colorado Springs, Colorado)
- Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California)
- Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska)
- Gayla Gregory (College Station, Texas)
- Alicia Dale (Burlington, Wisconsin)
- Dustin McGowen (Greenwood, Arkansas)
- Glenn Eller (USAMU/Houston, Texas)
- Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Georgia)
- Guy Avedisian (Ocala, Florida)
- Christopher Haire (Anna, Illinois)
Men’s Double Trap:
- Glenn Eller (USAMU/Houston, Texas)
- Jeff Holguin (USAMU/Yorba Linda, California)
- Josh Richmond (USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania)
- Jacob Hochhausler (Tampa, Florida)
- Tyler Deyo (Johnstown, Ohio)
*Athletes in italic type are competing in the MQS category and ineligible for World Cup medals at this event.
About Winchester Ammunition:
Winchester The American Legend is a global leader in sporting, law enforcement, military and personal defense ammunition production. Winchester continues to raise the bar with new products like Deer Season XP, Long Beard XR and W Train and Defend personal defense ammunition.
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.