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Shotgun Spring Selection

Spring Selection Showcases The Sport’s Best

The USA Spring Selection

Match took place on the site of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) May 8–21 and by the time the 11-day competi- tion had concluded, 185 shot- gun competitors took part in the match that decided the teams for the World Cup competitions and the 2013 World Clay Target Championships. Vincent Hancock (Eatonton,

Ga.) kicked off the match by connecting on 250-straight tar- gets to win the Men’s Skeet title at his home range of the USAMU at Fort Benning, Ga. Two previous times he had

shot a 249, but until the fi nal Sunday of competition, perfec- tion had escaped him. “A 250 is what I’ve been after

for quite a long time,” said Han- cock. “To do that on my old home range is pretty special.” But even Hancock misses

once in a while and so he did during the Men’s Open Final, missing two targets but still waltzed to a seven-point margin of victory over rising junior T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas). “I just wasn’t all there for

the fi nal,” admitted Hancock. “I couldn’t get myself hyped up for it. Getting that 250 is what I was working so hard for and having accomplished it, there was just a natural let down. I just didn’t have the same intensity level go- ing into it.” Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas)

earned her fi rst major title in the open division by displaying the nerves of a steely veteran. A lackluster 21 in the fi nal would put Drozd in a tie with veteran skeet shooter Haley Dunn (Muen- ster, Texas) and force a shoot-off for top prize. Drozd held her own through four sets of doubles on station four and would grab the win after Dunn missed one on the fi fth pair. Two other rising juniors -- Mor-

gan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pa.) and Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.) -- would fi nish third and fourth. Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colo.) rebounded from a fi nal round 19 on Saturday to earn a fi fth-place spot after a one-round shoot- off with 2012 National Cham- pion Jaiden Grinnell (Port Angeles, Wash.). 2008 Olympic gold medal-

ist Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas) has shown he might be round- ing back into form that led him to his triumph in Beijing. With a win at the USA Shooting Spring Selection Match on his home range in Fort Benning, he’s now climbed to the top again among America’s elite Double Trap com- petitors. Eller led after Day 1 with 145 hits of 150 targets and at the close of Day 2 he continued to lead the fi eld with 283 hits of 300 targets. In the fi nal, he hit 27 of 30 targets, giving him a to- tal score of 310 and enough to hold on for the win. “This gives me confi dence

going into the rest of the year,” he said. “I’ve been training hard with my new setup, getting used to the new game and what fun- damentals I need to shoot the new game properly. I still have a lot of work to do, but I think I’ve set up a good base for the rest of the year and I’m really looking forward to it.” Taking second was one of

Eller’s U. S. Army Marksmanship Unit teammates Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) who fi nished with a total score of 307. Round- ing out the USAMU domination of the event was Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, Calif.) who fi nished this match with the highest score

Vincent Hancock connected for 250 straight targets to win the Men’s Skeet event at Spring Selection in Fort Benning, Ga.

in the fi nals (29), but his total score of 303 placed him in third. After two days of Trap compe-

tition, Matt Gossett (Springville, Ala.) had missed just three combined targets of the 125 that he had been shown and had ex- panded his lead to seven. While he wouldn’t maintain that blister- ing pace, in the end Gossett had done enough to still capture the Spring Selection match title with a Finals round of 24 to earn a three-target win over John Mullins (Port Orchard, Wash.). “I’m very excited to win this

week and make my fi rst Open World Championship Team,” said Gossett. “It’s been a goal of mine ever since I was able to go as a junior.” On the women’s side, Ashley

Carroll (Solvang, Calif.) fought off two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell (Eagle River, Alaska) to earn her second straight Selec- tion Match event title after win- ning the Fall Selection Match in Kerrville, Texas, last October. Carroll’s score of 70 along with two-time National Champion and eventual third-place fi nisher Rachael Heiden (Clinton, Mich.), 71, were the only two competi- tors of the 27 entrants to shoot above 66 out of 75 targets.

Year in Review 2013 | USA Shooting News


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