Nine Trap Athletes Solidify World Championship Selection

Nine Trap Athletes Solidify World Championship Selection at 2017 USA Shooting National Championships
Nine Trap Athletes Solidify World Championship Selection at 2017 USA Shooting National Championships

USA ShootingU.S.A.-( Another nine International Trap athletes solidified their selection to the 2017 World Championship Team Monday on day two of the USA Shooting National Championships for Shotgun taking place at the International Shooting Park just south of Colorado Springs.

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 divisionsare being determined following the first of two courses of fire to be contested during Nationals. The top men’s open competitors distinguished themselves from the field following 500 targets and four Finals. The top open women’s competitors were selected from 300 targets and four Finals. The top juniors earn selection by being among the top-three following 250 targets plus two Finals.

Women’s Open Trap selection was finalized Sunday and includes Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California), Caitlin Barney Weinheimer (Port Lavaca, Texas) and Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska). Read the DAY 1 RECAP.

Carroll, Weinheimer & Cogdell-Unrein Secure World Champs Tickets
Carroll, Weinheimer & Cogdell-Unrein Secure World Champs Tickets

Seven hundred targets weren’t quite enough to decide the third spot in Men’s Open Trap as a pair of juniors battled for the final team selection. That is what happened upon the conclusion of today’s Final as 17-year-old Roe Reynolds (Quitman, Arkansas) came from behind to capture not only the Finals win over selection winner Jake Wallace (Castaic, California), but the third team spot as well over 20-year-old Sevin Layer (Palm Harbor, Florida).

Going into the Final, Reynolds found himself three back of Layer. Layer was eliminated with a fourth-place spot, while Reynolds kept fighting his way toward the top. He had a chance to win the Final outright but dropped a target on the last one thrown to force a sudden-death shoot-off with Wallace for the Finals win. Earn that win and he’d tie with Layer in Selection, drop it and Layer would be headed to Russia. Wallace would miss his sixth target into the shoot-off while Reynolds did not, meaning that Reynolds would face-off against Layer in a 25-target match to determine who needed to work on their Russian visa. A tie score would mean the two competitors would be forced to shoot that same amount all over again, which is exactly what happened after they both missed two targets apiece. Reynolds would finally secure his World Champs bid with a 24 compared to Layer’s 23.

Wallace was dominant over the selection process with a 27-point advantage and will likely achieve the greatest disparity from his competitors than in any other discipline with Skeet left to go. This marksWallace’s fifth World Championship selection with his high finish being eighth in his first opportunity as a junior shooter back in 2010.

“It was very important to me that I didn’t coast into the win with a large lead,” Wallace admitted. “I really wanted to push myself and win for the sake of winning. It’s always tough to defend anything in Colorado due to the high scores. I felt that I was able to go out and execute my game plan and put an exclamation point on my selection performance. It has been such a busy year with being recently married, so I am very satisfied with the performance.”

U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit standout Derek Haldeman (USAMU/Sunbury, Ohio) has proven that the switch to Trap from his previous specialty of Double Trap is working out alright as he earned the second team spot. Haldeman will be attending his sixth World Championship, all as a Double Trap competitor. He’s been a Finalist twice, once as a junior in 2011 when he finished fifth and in 2013 when he finished sixth.

With two days still remaining in the battle for a national title, two-time Double Trap Olympian Josh Richmond (USAMU/Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania) had himself a day Monday in his new event by putting together a 50-straight and he sits tied atop the overall standings with Wallace with just three misses, 122/125.

In Junior Men’s Trap, Logan Mountain (Palmdale, California) earned a win in Monday’s Final to help secure the top overall spot for World Champs selection. Joining him will be Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Georgia) who finished second, followed by Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana). All three were part of the last World Championships in Lonato, Italy, with Royer competing in Double Trap. Mountain finished second in his lone international experience. Barfield is hopeful for the progression he gained in Lonato, improving 20 places from his 2014 World Championship performance. Royer finished 22nd in Lonato after previously finishing 10th in the 2014 Worlds in Granada, Spain.

In Junior Women’s Trap, National Team member Emma Williams (Savannah, Tennessee) was the top overall qualifier for Worlds after finishing second in Monday’s Final. She’ll be joined on the team by Joyce Hunsaker (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Emily Hampson (Saint Charles, Missouri). This will be Williams and Hunsaker’s first World Championships while Hampson finished 15th at 2015 Worlds.

Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) is halfway to her third consecutive national title as she holds the overall lead at the midway point with a 121/125. Kayle Browning-Thomas (Wooster, Arkansas) is just one target behind while three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) is four off the pace set by Carroll.

The Senior Final was also held Monday with Assistant National Team Coach Tommy Browning (Wooster, Arkansas) earning top honors. He shot a 115/125 and then scored the best Finals total with a 45/50. Guy Avedisian (Ocala, Florida) was second while David Senter (Saint Helens, Oregon) finished third.

Tuesday’s competition schedule includes another 75 targets for all trap competitors followed by 50 additional targets Wednesday and event Finals to conclude the trap portion of the USA Shooting National Championships. Men’s and Women’s Skeet begins Friday, July 14.

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