U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Sometimes the stories seemingly write themselves and at the conclusion of Trap competition for the 2017 USA Shooting National Championships on Tuesday, that’s exactly what happened.
One athlete continued a reign of dominance with her third-straight national title. There will be no casting aside of the double trap competitors after the loss of their event from the Olympic program following a national title and two other podiums in their new event. Equally impressive might have been the performance of a 12-year-old sharpshooter who is now a Junior National Champion. You could say it was quite the day at the International Shooting Park just south of Colorado Springs.
It was a summer Carroll indeed just as it has been the previous two summers as 22-year-old Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) earned her third straight National Title, which puts her in rare company. The last three-time National Champion was two-time Olympic Skeet gold medalist Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) who did so from 2010 to 2012. Carroll had built five-target lead entering the 50-target Final and would fend off eventual silver medalist Kayle Browning-Thomas (Wooster, Arkansas). Browning-Thomas has now finished runner-up to Carroll each of the past three years and has now medaled seven times at Nationals since 2009. Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) would earn her first Nationals medal with bronze since earning gold in 2014. Carroll and Cogdell-Unrein both earned World Champs Team selection alongside Caitlin Barney-Weinheimer (Port Lavaca, Texas) earlier this week.
Carroll attests that her consistency these past three years has a lot to do with her “mental program and the ability to focus on one shot at a time rather than whole outcome of the match.” “I’m just really glad I kept it together for a whole match,” she added.
The Home of Champions has another one in Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) and evidently the right ingredient in event conversion as well. The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit was well-represented Wednesday as Haldeman was crowned National Champion and Glenn Eller (Katy, Texas) earned bronze. That’s not unusual at Nationals given the two have combined for nine medals since 2010, but this time it was in the new event they were forced to embrace following the recent elimination of Men’s Double Trap from the Olympic program. Joining them on the podium was Caleb Lindsey (Spring Hill, Tennessee). Haldeman had a one-target lead over Lindsey and two over Eller entering the Final. His 43/50 in the Final would be three overall targets better than Lindsey and four over Eller. Haldeman will compete alongside Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) and Roe Reynolds (Quitman, Arkansas) at World Championships.
“The transition from Doubles to Trap has been a bumpy road, but everything came together at the correct time,” said the 26-year-old Haldeman. “I am very excited about how successful I have been in trap in such a short amount of time. Not only am I proud to be a national champion, but I am very excited to represent the United States and the U.S. Army at the World Championships.”
Showcasing a shot and composure well beyond her years, 12-year-old Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee) earned a Junior National title on the strength of a 50-shot Final in which she held her own against her competitors and the gusty winds that raged up to 31 miles per hour for much of afternoon Finals. She entered the Final third and after a 38/50, would claim the title over fellow Tennessean Emma Williams (Savannah). Abby Blakely (Tallahassee, Florida) would earn the bronze medal, but not before a sudden-death shoot-off against another Tennessean Heather Broski (Spring Hill) which she’d eventually claim after the fifth target. Williams is headed to Russia as part of the World Championship Team along with Joyce Hunsaker (Corpus Christi, Texas) and Emily Hampson (Saint Charles, Missouri).
After finishing sixth in the open category, Chris Haire (Anna, Illinois) earned a Junior National title in Men’s Trap after a solid adjustment in the strong winds blowing right back into the competitors. He missed his first target and then ran 24-straight during the Final, which proved to be enough to earn a three-target advantage over Garrett Beissner (Hondo, Texas). The strength of previous Double Trap competitors was showcased again as 2016 Junior Olympic champion and Junior National Champion Hank Garvey (Newburyport, Massachusetts) would earn the bronze medal after beating Grayson Davey (Anchorage, Alaska) in a sudden-death shootout that went to four targets. World Champs selection included Logan Mountain (Palmdale, California), Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Georgia) and Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana), none of whom were fortunate enough to make Finals at this year’s Nationals.
After a pre-event training day on Thursday, competition in Skeet begins Friday with four more days of intense competition. World Championship selection will be conducted on Friday for Women’s Open Skeet and then Men’s Open and both junior selections on Saturday. Check out the Skeet Preview.
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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