U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Amid the marathon match that is the USA Shooting National Championships for Shotgun, a minor detail had to be worked out on Day 1 at the International Shooting Park just south of Colorado Springs: Women’s World Championship Selection.
Nationals is serving as the final stage in a three-part Selection Match for open competitors and a two-part Selection Match for junior competitors for nomination to the 2017 World Championships squad that will compete September 1-10 in Moscow, Russia. The first shots toward World Champs qualifying were fired during the 2016 Fall Selection Match in Kerrville, Texas, continued during Spring Selection in Fort Benning, Georgia, and the marathon concludes in Colorado Springs over the next nine days.
Three male and female athletes in both open and junior Trap and Skeet divisions will be determined following the first of two courses of fire to be contested during Nationals. The top men’s open competitors will have distinguished themselves from the field following 500 targets and four Finals. The top open women’s competitors will be selected from 300 targets and four Finals. The top juniors earn selection by being among the top-three following 250 targets plus two Finals.
Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) and Caitlin Barney Weinheimer had built a safe distance over the prior to events and certainly did enough Sunday to leave no doubt with both securing Selection before today’s World Champs Selection Final took place. In defense of her back-to-back national titles, Carroll opened with a match-high 73 today during Qualification and then finished fourth in the Final. Still, she finished 17 targets ahead of her nearest competitor. Barney-Weinheimer shot a 69 in Qualification and then finished second in the Final. This will be Barney-Weinheimer’s second World Championships having been a team member for 2011 Worlds in Belgrade.
The 27-year-old Barney-Weinheimer (Port Lavaca, California) has taken considerable time away from the sport in recent years to start a family. A mother to two boys now, she was quick to credit the family support she has to help her continue to shoot for her dreams.
“I’ve always had a love for shooting and a desire to represent my country on a world stage,” said Barney-Weinheimer. “It was a dream that persisted through having kids, and I have been very fortunate to have a supportive family and husband. It has taken a lot of hard work coming back into the sport, and I am thrilled and honored to make this team.”
The real drama ensued in the race for the third Women’s Open Trap spot that came down to three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) along with Kayle Browning-Thomas (Wooster, Arkansas) and Aeriel Skinner (Jackson, California). All that separated them before today over 225 targets and three Finals was 1.5 points. Upon the aftermath of today’s Qualification and Final, all that separated them was just one point.
Cogdell-Unrein’s Finals triumph today was the difference and it came down to the 50th Finals target to earn her spot. When Barney-Weinheimer missed her final target and Cogdell-Unrein capitalized with a last target crush, a World Champs ticket was secure for the Alaska native. Barney-Weinheimer and Cogdell-Unrein were tied prior to the final target and would have had a sudden-death elimination to determine the winner prior to the missed target on the final rotation. If Cogdell-Unrein had finished second in the Final it would have forced a 25-target shoot-off for World Champs selection with Skinner. Skinner had to settle for a fourth-place finish in Selection by just a ½ point over 300 targets and four Finals. On her birthday, Browning-Thomas was second in Qualification with a 72 but a fifth-place finish in the Final would leave her one point out for World Champs selection.
A recent therapeutic Alaskan fishing trip with her husband, Mitch, just days prior to the start of Nationals and a commitment to process while undergoing an exhaustive technique change led Cogdell-Unrein to her seventh World Championship selection in her storied career.
“Today felt like a glimpse of light at the end of a long tunnel I have been traveling down the last six months since making the switch from shooting with one eye to two,” said Cogdell-Unrein. This has been the hardest and most drastic change I have made in my shooting career by far to date. I know I have a long way to go still until I am satisfied with where I am at but shooting 24/25 in the first half of the final today gave me that reassurance that I am on the right track and that the changes I have made will make me a better athlete in the long run.”
Monday will feature the World Champs Selection Finales for Men’s Trap as well as Junior Women’s Trap and will also include the Senior Final. National Champions in both Men’s and Women’s Open and Junior Divisions will be crowned on Wednesday following 250 targets and a Final.
Brad Beckmann (Chesterfield, Missouri) and junior Garrett Beissner (Hondo, Texas)were the Day 1 leaders with 74/75. Of note, current World Champs Selection points leader Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) shot a 73. Three successful Army Double Trap shooters are currently top-seven in the standings with five-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Glenn Eller (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Katy, Texas) and Derek Haldeman (USAMU/Sunbury, Ohio) each scoring 73 with two-time Olympian Josh Richmond (USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania) at 72. Those three are among many Double Trap shooters now making the conversion to Trap following the recent elimination of the event from the Olympic program.
Below is a snapshot of the World Champs selection standings in Men’s Trap before Nationals began.
Top-5 Men’s Trap
NAME / Pts
- Jake Wallace (Castaic, Calif.) / 366
- Sevin Layer (Palm Harbor, Fla.) / 344
- Dale Royer (Jackson, Mont.) / 342
- Derek Haldeman (USAMU/Sunbury, Ohio) / 342
- Seth Inman (USAMU/Lexington, Mo.) / 341
- Roe Reynolds (Quitman, Ark.) / 341
- Dale Royer (Jackson, Mont.) / 121
- Logan Mountain (Palmdale, Calif.) / 118
- Mick Wertz (Muncy, Pa.) / 118
- Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Ga.) / 116
- Brendan Bligh (College Station, Texas) / 116
2017 USASNC for Shotgun Schedule
- Monday, July 10 – Trap (50 Targets + Men’s Final 1 + Women’s Jr. Final – Completes Men’s & Trap WCH Selection)
- Tuesday, July 11 – Trap (75 Targets)
- Wednesday, July 12 – Trap (50 Targets + Finals)
- Thursday, July 13 – Skeet Official Training
- Friday, July 14 – Skeet (75 Targets + Women’s Final – Completes Women’s Skeet WCH Selection)
- Saturday, July 15 – Skeet (50 Targets + Men’s Final – Completes Men’s Skeet WCH Selection)
- Sunday, July 16 – Skeet (75 Targets)
- Monday, July 17 – Skeet (50 Targets + Finals)
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.
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