COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (March 19, 2018)
Given the success and depth of USA Shooting’s shotgun program in recent years, it stands to reason that simply making America’s team might be the hardest thing to do. That will be the case this week as the nation’s top shotgun competitors converge on the Tucson Trap and Skeet Club for the Spring Selection Match, March 21-25, to determine team spots for the 2018 World Championships and Championship of the Americas.
The intensity is magnified given that these two major 2018 events begins the Olympic quota process for USA Shooting, where athletes will try and obtain the maximum number of Olympic participation spots available.
This Spring Selection match is part two of the Open Team selection process for World Championships and the Championship of the Americas with scores being carried over from the 2017 Fall Selection Match held September 30 - October 8. Top-three combined scorers earn their way to Changwon, South Korea and Guadalajara later this year. Top three junior scorers from only this Spring Selection match earn a spot on the Junior World Championship Team. Competitors will see 250 targets over four days of action and top-six make the Final in each division.
Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) has distinguished herself as the woman to beat in Women’s Trap. In 10 domestic competitions since 2015, Carroll has earned six victories including five in a row after earning the win at last year’s Fall Selection Match. She shows no signs of letting up after securing a win in the season-opening World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico earlier this month. Carroll has a four-target lead in overall selection over Julia Stallings (Rossville, Tennessee) and Aeriel Skinner (Jackson, California). Skinner shared the podium with Carroll in Guadalajara as the bronze medalist while Stallings was 12th. Kayle Browning-Thomas (Wooster, Arkansas) sits in fourth, followed by 13-year-old Junior National Champion Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee). Alicia Dale (Burlington, Wisconsin) was sixth while three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) is seventh.
Junior star performer Grayson Davey (Anchorage, Alaska) takes a one-target lead into the Men’s Trap selection. Davey’s win at Fall Selection represents the 13th different winner of a Men’s Trap event since 2012, with no consecutive winner from one event to the next. Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) is second over 18-year-old Mick Wertz (Muncy, Pennsylvania). Wertz was impressive in his World Cup debut earlier this month, finishing 10th. Wallace was 12th while Davey struggled to a 41st-place finish. Five-time Olympian Glenn Eller (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Katy, Texas) and Brad Beckmann (Chesterfield, Missouri) are tied for fourth while junior Garrett Beissner (Hondo, Texas) rounded out the top six.
Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), the reigning National Champion in Men’s Skeet, dropped only three targets over the four days at Fall Selection to finish first in Qualification with 247 targets. He would also go on to