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Army Shooters Shine in 2014; Look to 2015

U.S. Army shooters from

the Shotgun, International Rifl e and International Pistol teams are looking to build on the successes of 2014 in 2015, and ultimately, com- pete and bring home gold in the 2016 Olympics. The highlight of the year

was September’s Interna- tional Shooting Sports Fed- eration (ISSF) World Cham- pionship. The competition put the fi rst 2016 Olympic quota positions for the na- tion on the line and pitted the best in the world against each other. Sgt. 1st Class Josh Rich-

mond won the gold medal in Men’s Double Trap without missing a single shot, earn- ing the United States its fi rst quota slot and crowning him the world champion for his discipline. In Women’s 300m Three-

Position, Sgt. Erin McNeil captured the bronze medal, and in Men’s 300m Prone, Staff Sgt. Michael McPhail won the bronze medal.

The Men’s Prone team sil- ver medal went to Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft, Staff Sgt. Joe Hein and McPhail. In July at the Grand Prix in

Granada, Spain, McPhail led the U.S. gold medal count with wins in Men’s 50m Three-Position and 50m Prone. Staff Sgt. Jeff Holguin’s

stellar year included gold medal fi nishes for Men’s Double Trap at the Grand Prix, the World Cup Final and the Tuscon, Arizona, World Cup. In addition to his World

Championship win, Rich- mond also won silver med- als at Shotgun World Cups in Kazakhstan and Tuscon, Ari- zona. Staff Sgt. Glenn Eller captured Double Trap silver at the Munich World Cup and won the USA Shooting National Championships. All of the teams share the

goal of qualifying shooters for World Cup matches and winning gold for the United States in 2015. Also on ev-

ery shooter’s mind is quali- fying for the 2016 Olympic Team. Ray Arredondo, the Army

International Pistol Team coach, believes focusing on the day-to-day training will get the shooters ready for any competition. “If our athletes can devel-

op their skills to the level of being selected for matches because of their abilities, that automatically places them at a very competitive level.”

Shooters worldwide will

be competing for Olympic quota positions during des- ignated ISSF qualifi cation events. The quota positions are

awarded to the country, so a shooter still has to com- pete and earn his/her spot on the Olympic Team as well as have a minimum qualifi - cation score (MQS) to com- pete in the Olympics. The ISSF designates the MQS for each Olympic event, and it is the minimum score that an athlete must have recorded at least once in the set time- frame to become eligible to take part in the Olympic Games. Both rifl e and shotgun

USAMU athletes (left to right) Jeff Holguin, Glenn Eller and Derek Haldeman swept the podium for Double Trap at the National Championships.

38 USA Shooting News | Year in Review 2014

have set the goal to qual- ify team members for the U.S. Olympic Team through points in 2015. By making the team through points, they will not have to com- pete in the Olympic Trials in 2016.

“We have quite a few con-

tenders on the team who can do that now,” said Army International Rifl e Team Coach Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker. The Shotgun team placed

fi ve members on the World Championship team in 2014 and is looking to increase that number in 2015. “To prepare for the Olym-

pics, we’re looking toward more events like the Grand Prix, putting in more train- ing hours on the range with private coaches and using a positive team atmosphere to create champions together,” said Shotgun Team Coach Sgt. 1st Class Mark Weeks. Two new members joined

the Army International Rifl e Team in the past year, and Parker said that Pfc. Larissa Wright and Pfc. Dan Lowe are both fantastic additions to the team. Lowe fi nished Army basic

training and two weeks later won three medals at the USA Shooting Rifl e National Championships to earn a position on the U.S. National Team. “Everybody on the team

will be competing for the World Cups this year, and he (Lowe) is one of the top contenders for making those teams and qualifying for the Olympics,” Parker said.

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