Given the success and depth of USA Shooting’s shotgun program in recent years, it stands to reason that simply making America’s team might be the hardest thing to do. That will be the case this week as the nation’s top shotgun competitors converge on the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club for the Spring Selection Match, March 21-25, to determine team spots for the 2018 World Championships and Championship of the Americas. The intensity is magnified given that these two major 2018 events begins the Olympic
quota process for USA Shooting, where athletes will try and obtain the maximum number of Olympic participation spots available.
This Spring Selection match is part two of the Open Team selection process for World Championships and the Championship of the Americas with scores being carried over from the 2017 Fall Selection Match held September 30 – October 8. Top-three combined scorers earn their way to Changwon, South Korea and Guadalajara later this year. Top three junior scorers from only this Spring Selection match earn a spot on the Junior World Championship Team. Competitors will see 250 targets over four days of action and top-six make the Final in each division.
Meet the Competitors
Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) has distinguished herself as the woman to beat in Women’s Trap. In 10 domestic competitions since 2015, Carroll has earned six victories including five in a row after earning the win at last year’s Fall Selection Match. She shows no signs of letting up after securing a win in the season-opening World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico earlier this month. Carroll has a four-target lead in overall selection over Julia Stallings (Rossville, Tennessee) and Aeriel Skinner (Jackson, California). Skinner shared the podium with Carroll in Guadalajara as the bronze medalist while Stallings was 12th. Kayle Browning-Thomas (Wooster, Arkansas) sits in fourth, followed by 13-year-old Junior National Champion Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee). Alicia Dale (Burlington, Wisconsin) was sixth while three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) is seventh.
Junior star performer Grayson Davey (Anchorage, Alaska) takes a one-target lead into the Men’s Trap selection. Davey’s win at Fall Selection represents the 13th different winner of a Men’s Trap event since 2012, with no consecutive winner from one event to the next. Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) is second over 18-year-old Mick Wertz (Muncy, Pennsylvania). Wertz was impressive in his World Cup debut earlier this month, finishing 10th. Wallace was 12th while Davey struggled to a 41st-place finish. Five-time Olympian Glenn Eller (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Katy, Texas) and Brad Beckmann (Chesterfield, Missouri) are tied for fourth while junior Garrett Beissner (Hondo, Texas) rounded out the top six.
Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), the reigning National Champion in Men’s Skeet, dropped only three targets over the four days at Fall Selection to finish first in Qualification with 247 targets. He would also go on to win the Final after defeating his two-time Olympic teammate Frank Thompson (Alliance, Nebraska) in a shootoff. Thompson finished in second place overall and is three targets back coming into Tucson. Hancock recently won the World Cup in Guadalajara while Thompson was fifth.
Phillip Jungman (USAMU/Caldwell, Texas) finished in third place overall and is four targets out. Jungman’s Army teammates Christian Elliott (Greenwood, Indiana) and Dustan Taylor (Staley, North Carolina) are fourth and fifth, respectively.
Headlining the depth and competitiveness of Women’s Skeet is none other than six-time Olympic medalist and 2017 International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Shooter of the Year Kim Rhode (El Monte, California). Rhode just keeps on winning as she did at the 2017 Fall Selection Match and then began her 2018 campaign with another World Cup victory in Mexico. Rhode is six targets up on Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) who finished second to Rhode at the same World Cup. Haley Dunn (Eddyville, Iowa) is tied with Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colorado) in selection points behind Connor and Rhode. Reigning World Champion Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Florida) sits in fifth place.
2017 Fall Selection Match Results
The 2018 Spring Selection Match is taking place at the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club, just west of historic Tucson, Arizona. They have previously hosted the 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, 2012 and 2014 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cups, and the 2013 Fall Selection Match.
The Tucson Trap and Skeet Club has served southern Arizona’s shooting sportsman since its original incorporation in 1948. The club has been in its present location since early 1976 when construction on the 80-acre site was completed. In 2011, Tucson Trap and Skeet added 300 acres of leased land from Pima County. TTSC is one of the largest sport shooting facilities in the country and includes 50 trap fields,
13 skeet fields, two 5-stand fields, two 12-station sporting clay courses, five international bunkers and a 9,000-square foot clubhouse with restaurant, bar, pro shop, and 200 full-service RV hookups. Each year the club hosts the Spring and Autumn Grand American Trap Shoots, the Winter Chain Trap Shoot and the Old Pueblo Skeet Open. The club will host the World All Around Shotgun Championship, April 9-14 and the ISSF World Cup, July 9-19.
2018 SHOTGUN SPRING SELECTION SCHEDULE
|Wednesday, March 21||Skeet (75 Targets)||Trap Official Training|
|Thursday, March 22||Skeet (50 Targets)||Trap (75 Targets)|
|Friday, March 23||Skeet (75 Targets)||Trap (50 Targets)|
|Saturday, March 24||Skeet (50 Targets) + Finals||Trap (75 Targets)|
|Sunday, March 25||Trap (50 Targets) + Finals||.|
Press Release provided by USA Shooting.