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Junior Competitions: Pilsen & Suhl


Rifl e Athletes Earn Nine Medals in Pilsen; Bowers Silver in Suhl


A group of 19 junior athletes


competing in the 23rd Meeting of the Shooting Hopes in Pilsen, Czech Republic, showcased a bright future for USA Shooting. Team USA headed home winners of nine medals in rifl e including fi ve individual and four team medals overall. The three-day junior-only


event featuring 385 competi- tors from 25 nations saw three individual gold medals earned by rifl e standouts Elizabeth Gratz (Sigel, Ill.), Rachel Martin (Per- alta, N.M.) and Connor Davis (Shelbyville, Ky.). Martin and Davis each earned gold in THree- Position Rifl e while Gratz earned the top podium spot in Air Rifl e. The current Air Rifl e National


Champion Davis was golden once again. University of Alaska - Fairbanks standout Ryan Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska) took silver with a qualifi cation score of 1163 and a fi nals score of 450.3. Tyler


Rico (Air Force/Tucson, Ariz.) fi n- ished fourth with the same score in qualifi cation as Davis of 1156, but a fi nals score of 424.8. In the team competition, Davis, Anderson and Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Mo.) teamed up to take fi rst place with a score of 3468. Spurgeon also earned a


bronze medal in Prone Rifl e. He then teamed up with fellow colle- giate shooters Anderson and Eli- jah Ellis (University of Kentucky/ Kingsport, Tenn.) to earn another team gold medal for Team USA. Lydia Paterson (Kansas City,


Kan.) earned a trip to the Air Pistol fi nals and fi nished sixth overall. Her score, combined with that of her teammates Alana Townsend (Kalispell, Mont.) and Darian Shenk (Annville, Pa.) helped earn the U.S. Team a fi fth- place fi nish overall.


Kimberley Bowers (left) won a silver medal in Trap in Suhl, Germany.


International Shotgun Junior Compeition In shotgun, four young ath-


letes headed off to Suhl, Ger- many, for an International Junior World Cup event – an Interna- tional Shooting Sports Federa- tion test event for future junior World Cup-style events. “The Suhl, Germany trip for


some Junior team members was very enlightening for me as a coach. We were able to do in shotgun what Dave Johnson had done for some time in rifl e and pistol and that is introduce our juniors to the World junior com- petitions,” said Assistant Nation- al Team Coach Mike Simpson. “I’m very proud of the performances.” Kimberley Bowers (Lafayette,


(Left to Right): Elijah Ellis, Garrett Spurgeon and Ryan Anderson win gold in Pilsen, Czech Republic.


Calif.) shot her way into the Trap fi nal after a tie breaker and still another tie breaker for the gold & silver medals, winding up with silver. Will Hinton (Dakula, Ga.)


made the fi nal in Double Trap in fi fth place and came out after


Year in Review 2013 | USA Shooting News 15


the fi nal still in fi fth. “He also shot very well in sin-


gle trap and just barely missed the fi nal - and the scores in single trap were nothing short of impressive,” Simpson said. In skeet, Hannah Houston (Co-


lumbia, Tenn.) and Jacob Keldsen (Walkerton, Ill.) shot well to fi nish in the top third of the pack. “I watched nerves and fear


in my athletes’ eyes turn to com- fort as they were encouraged to make new friends from different federations, and they did,” said Simpson. “I listened as they talk- ed about their different country cultures and what each of their daily lives were like and then ev- erybody having dinner together. This camaraderie was conducive to laying the ground work for a very good match because our team was comfortable when they stepped onto the fi eld to com- pete.”


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