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that came in just making the team as late as he did. This time is different the


34-year-old Eller asserts. He assured his participation LQ D À IWK 2O\PSLF *DPHV back in September with D VL[WK SODFH À QLVK DW WKH World Championships in Lonato, Italy. Eller earned the Olympic nomination through USA Shooting’s Olympic Points System, a standard set-up to recog- QL]H DQG UHZDUG VLJQLÀ FDQW individual achievement dur- ing the 2015 season. Eller knew he had to earn a spot in the Finals to seal another Olympic run. With that Olympic possibility looking GLVWDQW DIWHU KLV À UVW WKUHH rounds having dropped 10 targets, he’d turn it up GXULQJ KLV À QDO WZR URXQGV by dropping just one lone target in each. His mission


was incomplete still until he was one of the two shooters to advance during a three- person shoot-off to advance to Finals.


Eller’s Olympic return


was boosted by an intense practice session that fol- ORZHG D GLVDSSRLQWLQJ À QLVK at the Pan American Games in July. Not pleased with a Pan Am performance that VDZ KLP À QLVK IRXUWK (OOHU put in even more training time than usual in lead-up to World Cup Gabala (Azer- baijan). His father, Butch, estimates he probably went through 6,000 targets dur- ing that intensive training spell with many days lead- ing to exhaustion by day’s end. The pay-off included a win in Gabala, which cata- pulted Eller into position to secure an Olympic bid.


“When I made the


Olympic Team in Lonato, I got in the shower that night and just started laughing,” Eller states. “Like holy crap, who would have thought WKDW , ZRXOG KDYH PDGH À YH Olympic Teams in a row. On that day it was a highlight, but the next day I was like ‘now it’s time to get ready, help my teammates prepare and make sure whoever my teammate is it’s the best teammate I can have, no matter who it is.’ And then we go out and kick some you-know-what in Rio.” His success is paved


from his own smarts, dedi- cation and competitiveness along with the brotherhood he’s etched with friends and competitors at the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU).


Eller wins gold at the 2013 Shotgun World Championships in Lima, Peru.


Photo by: ISSF To combat his weakness- o combat his w


es last year, he decided that KH QHHGHG D PRUH Á H[LEOH system that would allow him to train on those areas. To do that, he decided to use his mental ability to build a new computer that would al- low him to control all targets coming out of the bunker. That way he can simulate any and all potential sce- narios that he might come across at any range in the world. To build the comput- er, he had to teach himself to write computer code and he had to learn all of the ins-and-outs of electronic assembly. Keep in mind, that he had no training or background in those areas. He simply taught himself.


40 USA Shooting News | March 2016


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