FORT BENNING, Ga. -(Ammoland.com)- Lucas Kozeniesky and Hanna Carr each claimed their second gold medals today when they once again put forth top-level performances in Men’s Air Rifle and Women’s Three-Position Rifle at the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle/Pistol.
2016 Olympian Kozeniesky’s (Fairfax, Virginia, right) win in today’s Final after two Qualification matches gave him the required points to push him .2 points ahead in the overall standings over Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota), who finished with silver.
Murray State’s Ivan Roe (Manhattan, Montana) was in third place at the end of two days of Qualification, and locked down the bronze medal with his finish in today’s Final.
Kozeniesky, who moved to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado last month to train as a resident athlete, said these performances at Nationals were part of his long-term goals as he looks toward next year’s International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship, and ultimately, the 2020 Olympic Games.
“I just got to the Training Center and have been working with them to get into a routine there. We started thinking about what the long-term goals were, started setting goals for that, and it started with Nationals,” Kozeniesky said. “In Airgun, I won and it was a good day, but I was behind in the Final. In Qualification, I started off rough, but I finished out strong. Nationally it had its upside, but there’s still a lot to do.”
Kozeniesky won gold earlier this week in Men’s Three-Position Rifle.
On the Junior side, Ohio State’s Jacob Buchanan (Spring, Texas) won gold in Men’s Air Rifle, West Virginia’s Will Anti (Fort Benning, Georgia) won silver and Peter Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) won bronze.
In Women’s Three-Position Rifle, 19-year-old Kentucky Wildcat Hanna Carr (Versailles, Kentucky) won the Open and Junior titles amidst the scorching afternoon heat.
Carr entered today’s Open Final with an eight-point lead so large, she would be crowned National Champion regardless of the outcome of the Final. Regardless, she managed to also win the Final by a dominating 9.6 points. Ole Miss assistant coach Hannah Black (Richmond, Virginia) won silver and Murray State’s Mackenzie Martin (Murray, Kentucky) won bronze.
“I came into this match with really no expectations of how it was going to go,” Carr said. “I’ve been really struggling this past collegiate season…I really came to this match just wanting to find the person I used to be as a shooter; before college, just having fun and making it really simple and that’s what it came down to these past two days – just making it really simple. It was like finding that person I was before. I was just calm, not thinking about anything, and it was fun!”
Martin also claimed silver in the Junior division for this event, with Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) rounding out the Junior medalists with bronze.
Carr also won gold earlier this week in the Women’s Prone Rifle event.
Athletes who won medals in the Open categories of Men’s Air Rifle and Women’s Three-Position Rifle will earn appointments to the National Team, pending approval of their Performance Standard Scores. Athletes who placed in the top-two of these events will also earn appointments to the National Junior Team.
Brazen Sports, the official timekeeper of USA Shooting, generously donated awards for the top male and female performer in each discipline, as well as top American male and female Paralympic athletes. Watches were awarded to Kozeniesky as Top Male Rifle Athlete, Carr as Top Female Rifle Athlete and Kevin Nguyen (Columbus, Georgia) as top Male Paralympic athlete.
Action concludes tomorrow at the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle/Pistol and World Shooting Para Sport- (WSPS) sanctioned match with the Finals in the P4 and R5 WSPS events, as well as Men’s Free Pistol and Women’s Sport Pistol.
More than 350 athletes from across the country have descended on the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in Fort Benning to compete for National Championship titles and appointments to the National, National Junior and National Paralympic Teams. More than 30 athletes from nine countries have come to Fort Benning to compete in the WSPS-sanctioned match.
A complete schedule for this match can be found here.
Complete results from the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle/Pistol and WSPS-sanctioned match thus far can be found here.
Eley is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Teams: ELEY Limited, manufacturer of the world's most consistently accurate rimfire ammunition, has been the Official Sponsor and Official Supplier of .22 rimfire ammunition of the USA Shooting rifle and pistol teams since 2000.
For more information on ELEY and their products, please visit their website.
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.