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U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Smallbore


Rio in Sight: Five Athletes Punch Their Olympic Tickets With Smallbore Olympic Trials Performances


It was an Olympic Tri- als with mostly unexpected results for athletes in the smallbore (.22 caliber) disci- SOLQHV RI 5LÁ H DQG 3LVWRO $ SDLU RI FROOHJLDWH ULÁ H


athletes declared that they are Rio bound while three veteran pistol competitors earned their tickets as well.


(.22 caliber) in their respec- tive events during competi- tion at the U.S. Army Marks- manship Unit (USAMU) in Fort Benning, Georgia. These Trials consisted of


three straight days of com- petition for each event, fea- WXULQJ WKUHH 4XDOLÀ HUV DQG three separate Finals. Each


in Matt Emmons (Browns Mills, New Jersey). He did so by shooting a career best on the pressure-packed day ZLWK D 4XDOLÀ FDWLRQ VFRUH RI 629.5 while Emmons strug- gled to a mark of 616.8 that left him out of the Final. Hig- gins score was so big he had earned the nomination be-


Women’s Three-Position Rifl e


It’s going to be hard


to beat the accomplish- ments teenager Thrasher has earned since March including: NCAA Smallbore National champion March 1&$$ $LU 5LÁ H 1DWLRQDO


champion March 12; Olym- pian April 4.


David Higgins punched his ticket to Rio in Men’s Prone Rifl e with a personal best on Day Three and a Finals win.


It’s been an improbable been an im Dreams came true for Air


Force Academy senior David Higgins (San Clemente, Cali- fornia), West Virginia Univer- sity freshman Ginny Thrash- HU 6SULQJÀ HOG 9LUJLQLD 37-year-old Jay Shi (Phoenix, Arizona), 47-year old Enkele- jda Shehaj (Naples, Florida) and 48-year-old Emil Milev (Temple Terrace, Florida) af- ter winning the 2016 Olym- pic Team Trials for Smallbore


day’s qualifying scores and points from the event Finals were added to each compet- itor’s score to get a cumula- tive total.


Men’s Prone Rifl e The biggest surprise


came in the Men’s Prone 5LÁ H HYHQW ZKHUH +LJJLQV erased an 11.3-point mar- gin against arguably one of the sport’s all-time greats


fore the Finals even began, but that didn’t stop him from À QLVKLQJ LQ VW\OH ZLWK D ZLQ there too. Despite not making the


)LQDOV DQG À QLVKLQJ VHFRQG Emmons will still compete in Rio after having already made the U.S. Olympic Team LQ 7KUHH 3RVLWLRQ 5LÁ H +DQN Gray (Belgrade, Montana/ 86$08 À QLVKHG WKLUG


climb that began last sum- mer at USA Shooting Na- WLRQDOV ZLWK D À YH PHGDO performance including two open and three junior med- als. With a ticket to Rio now secure, it’s not likely ending anytime soon, either. 6KH EHFDPH WKH À UVW freshman in NCAA history to sweep both individual ULÁ H WLWOHV LQ KHOSLQJ OHDG WKH Mountaineers to an 18th na- tional championship.


Now,


she becomes just the third :98 IHPDOH ULÁ H DWKOHWH WR represent the United States DW WKH 2O\PSLFV DQG WKH À UVW since 2000 Olympian Jean Foster. Foster also com- peted at the 1996 Olympic *DPHV $QQ 0DULH 3À IIQHU


May 2016 | USA Shooting News 19


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