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team. And to be perfectly honest, making the team in the fi rst place was kind of an accident. There’s a large amount of testing and work that goes into it. In Prone, the easiest part of it is your position. The hardest part is getting your ammo to work with the gun, fi nding a barrel that shoots con- sistently all the time, and everything that goes into that. To throw some stuff together randomly and lay down on the fi ring line and make the team is honestly, pretty much an accident… but it worked out. So after I made the team, it was like ‘Okay, I can’t really rely on luck anymore. I need to actually lie down and fi gure some stuff out so I don’t embarrass myself going to the next match.’” Mowrer fi nished in third place behind Olympians Michael McPhail and Eric Uptagrafft to secure the fi nal spot on the U.S. Prone team. Just a week later, Mowrer left to compete in Air Pistol at the Bavarian Airgun Championships and found he had to confi rm his Prone Rifl e Team status

to curious international competitors. Even when he returned home to the U.S., the questions continued. “At that point people

were like ‘Oh, he got lucky’ and that’s a natural reac- tion for people in general to justify it. When I actually accepted the spot on the team, people were kind of up in arms – ‘Are you going to actually accept the spot? You just shot the match for fun, but now you actually made the team. Are you going to pursue that or you just messing with us and sticking with pistol?’ My thought process for accept- ing the spot on the team was that it was experience. The World Cup is just anoth- er opportunity to compete against the best shooters in the world – why does it mat- ter if it’s rifl e, pistol, shot- gun, underwater basket weaving – it doesn’t matter. You’re still competing with the best in that fi eld and I

wanted the experience no matter what.” Prior to being named to

the Prone Rifl e Team, Mow- rer would pick up his rifl e perhaps once a week; using it for a mental and physical break – or even when he was just bored during his pistol training. “My primary focus is

pistol. That’s why I’m here. I was shooting as much pistol as I normally would. The only thing was that I was staying extra – like putting in extra hours after work. Instead of a 9-5, I was staying until 9:30 or 10 at night to square away my rifl e,” he said. Once he decided to

accept the team appoint- ment, Mowrer “stepped up training, just a little bit,” as he called it. “After I made the team, I actually got pretty stupid with it and was training WAY too much (for rifl e). I would lie down and would literally shoot 300 rounds a ses- sion, which is dumb. There were even days I was prob- ably getting closer to 400. I was shooting a lot. I guess there are lots of reasons for that. I spent a considerable amount of time getting my ammo squared away, get- ting my rifl e squared away and refi ning my position to the point I felt really com- fortable and confi dent with it. I shot a lot of rifl e in order to do that.” Heading into the World

Cup, Mowrer would once again wear the shooting jacket he got from former Resident Athlete Matt Wal- lace, a hand-me-down that no longer fi t him. “I didn’t pay a dime for it,” Mowrer

May 2014 | USA Shooting News


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