GUADALAJARA, Mexico (November 5, 2018)
The USA Shooting Team picked up five more medals and an Olympic quota at the Championship of the Americas (CAT Games) Sunday in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota) successfully defended his Men’s Air Rifle gold medal from the 2014 CAT by winning gold once again, as well as picking up an Olympic quota for the United States in Men’s Air Rifle. 2016 Olympian Lucas Kozeniesky (Fairfax, Virginia), in his first international Final, won the silver medal. Earning an Olympic quota in competition ensures the country a spot in that particular event, not necessarily the athlete. Athletes will earn Olympic Team slots via a trials system established by USA Shooting.
All three American athletes in the Men’s Air Rifle event: Christenson Kozeniesky and Bryant Wallizer (Little Orleans, Maryland) qualified for the Final. Christenson entered the Final with the highest score of 626.7 to set an Americas Qualification record and Kozeniesky had a score of 619.5 to enter the Final with the fifth-highest score.
Once in the Final, Christenson fell behind in the first-five shots, but in the next series of five, he moved to the lead until the very end to beat Kozeniesky for the gold by 1.8 points to set an Americas Finals score of 248.5. Wallizer finished in fifth place. With their combined Qualification scores, Christenson, Kozeniesky and Wallizer earned a team gold medal.
In the Women’s Air Pistol event, Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nevada) won silver, her first international medal.
“For my first international Final [in Women’s Air Pistol], I feel that it was an awesome confidence booster to prepare me for the coming year leading into Tokyo,” said Lagan. “I was also excited because [six-time Olympic medalist]