COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado –-(Ammoland.com)- The nearly week-long rifle competition known as the Robert Mitchell Rifle Championships concluded at the Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs with titles awarded in Men’s and Women’s Air and Three-Position Rifle.
More than 60 athletes from four countries competed in the annual match which was the first for USA Shooting to utilize the new International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) rules in which men and women shoot the same number of competition shots in each event.
Though it may have been a smaller match in attendance numbers, there were big scores put up by the athletes in competition. 2016 Olympian Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia) and three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey) shot world-class Qualification scores of 1178 and 1177 respectively in Men’s Three-Position Rifle. The duo would also end up with Kozeniesky with gold and Emmons silver. Former Prone Rifle specialist Michael McPhail (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Darlington, Wisconsin) rounded out the Men’s Three-Position Rifle podium by claiming the bronze medal. On the Junior side, Peter Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) won gold, Devin Schwindt (Lees Summit, Missouri) won silver and John Peterson (Kellar, Texas) won bronze.
In the women’s competition, 14-year-old Katie Zaun (Buffalo, North Dakota) and Erin McNeil (USAMU/Fort Wayne, Indiana) each shot 1165 in Qualification – a world-class score in the Open (adult) division. Despite these efforts, Rachel Martin (Peralta, New Mexico) was the only athlete to win titles in both disciplines, claiming the Women’s Air and Three-Position Rifle titles. Alison Weisz (Belgrade, Montana) won silver in Women’s Three-Position Rifle and McNeil won bronze. Weisz also shot a world-class Qualification score of 625.7 in the Women’s Air Rifle event.
In Women’s Air Rifle, Angeline Henry (Fort Worth, Texas) won the silver medal, as well as the gold in the Women’s Three-Position Rifle event. Winning bronze in Women’s Air Rifle was 16-year-old Macey Way (Colorado Springs, Colorado) who also shot an impressive Day One Qualification score of 624.1.
The most dominating Finals performance came from 14-year-old Emily Brock (Delmont, South Dakota) who won the Junior Women’s Air Rifle event with a Finals score of 250.4 – an impressive score in the Open division in international competition. Morgan Kreb (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won silver in the Junior Women’s Air Rifle event and Zaun won the bronze.
Earlier in the week in Men’s Air Rifle, Matt Rawlings (Wharton, Texas) won the gold medal. Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) won silver and Kozeniesky won bronze. On the Junior side, Jordan Williams (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won gold, Travis Stockton (Arvada, Colorado) won silver and Ryan Habeck (Fort Pierre, South Dakota) won bronze.
The final event of the Robert Mitchell Rifle Championships was the Junior Women’s Three-Position Rifle event where Henry won gold, Zaun won silver and Mary Tucker (Sarasota, Florida) won bronze. Henry, along with Emmons, won the Mixed Air Rifle Team event as well on the first day of competition.
This match is named for Robert Mitchell, who helped build USA Shooting from its infancy as a National Governing Body through his 30-year career with the organization. He spent time as the National Team Coach, Director of Operations and Chief Executive Officer. During his retirement ceremony in August 2016, the USA Shooting staff announced that they were renaming this match from the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championship in his honor. The match originated under Mitchell back in 1986 when he was National Rifle Coach.
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.