COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (July 30, 2019)
If you could listen well enough, you might have heard the collective sigh of relief exhaled nationwide earlier today following one particular result at the 2019 Pan American Games. It came at the exact moment when Brazil’s Roberto Schmits was eliminated from the Men’s Trap competition in third place.
In that instant, 4006 days of anguish disappeared for the U.S. Men’s Trap program as Brian Burrows and Derek Haldeman would finish as gold and silver medalists in Lima, Peru, and with it the quota quest that no one wanted to talk about would be completed and 2020 vision was realized. Travel back in time and that’s the day 47-year-old Bret Erickson and 44-year-old Dominic Grazioli finished 22nd and 23rd at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Ever since, America’s shooting team had been waiting for this moment and it is why Tuesday, July 30 will be celebrated widely.
“Every medal and each quota is a huge accomplishment for our athletes and our program,” said National Team coach Jay Waldron. “But the pursuit of the Men’s Trap quotas has definitely given me the most sleepless nights. Our coaching team pulled out all the stops with their Pan Am Games training of Brian and Derek.”
With it brings new hope and energy for a U.S. shotgun program that already had plenty. But something had been missing for almost 11 years and two Olympic Games with no men’s trap representative, and just like that, with a full U.S. Shotgun Team destined for Tokyo, all now seems right in the world.
Getting it done was Burrows (Fallbrook, California), who had put the gun away for a bit early in 2016 as a multi-time national