By Lars Dalseide | June 22 2014 12:15

From USA Shooting - Spain the Gain for Top Junior Shooters at 2014 USA Shooting National Championships

Colorado Springs, Colorado - An invite to Granada, Spain, and the 2014 World Shooting Championships awaits top junior and non-Olympic event competitors at the USA Shooting National Championships (USASNC) for Rifle & Pistol in Fort Benning, Georgia, June 23 – June 29.

With so much on the line, attendance at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) is expected to include 525 starts as athletes gun for World Team selection, National Championship prestige and the honor of being named to USA Shooting’s National or National Junior Team for the top-two finishers.

Winning the National Championships is an important goal of every top-caliber shooter, but in the open-level category, it takes a back seat to the season’s ultimate quest which is World Championships success and potential Olympic qualifying opportunities in Spain.  But for the juniors and those competing in non-Olympic events, often overshadowed by their open and Olympic counterparts, success at the National Championships could earn them a spot on the USA Shooting Team that will compete in Granada in both open and junior-level events.  National Champions will be the result of aggregate totals of two combined qualifiers and finals. Open team members for the World Team in Olympic-specific events were decided in May at a Selection Match event held in Ft. Benning. 

Fifty-five World Team spots are left to be decided in the Olympic rifle events of M/W Junior Air, M/W Junior Three-Position and Men’s Junior Prone and the pistol events of M/W Junior Air, Men’s Junior Free and Rapid Fire, and Women’s Junior Sport. Non-Olympic events eligible for World Team selection include Women’s and Junior Women’s 50m Prone Rifle, Men’s Center Fire and Standard Pistol and Junior Men’s Sport and Standard Pistol.  All non-Olympic event slots are self-funded by the participating competitor.  Other non-Olympic events competed at World Championships including Men’s and Women’s 300m Three-Position and Prone Rifle are selected through invitation only.

For all Junior and non-Olympic pistol events, slots will come down to two qualification events and two finals held during the National Championships. For Rifle, the National Championships is part two of an intensive qualification process that began for junior competitors during the 2014 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) back in April. The top-three junior team members will be identified following a selection process that included two qualifiers and a final at the NJOSC and another two qualifiers and two finals at the USASNC. 

With standout performances in April at the NJOSC, pistol competitors Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Florida), Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas) and Irina Andrianova (Schaumburg, Illinois) have aligned themselves as the ones to watch in the quest to represent USA Shooting in Spain.  Chichkov won both Air and Sport Pistol events.  Paterson, one of the youngest National Team members ever by virtue of last year’s runner-up finish at Nationals in Women’s Air Pistol already qualified for the U.S. Team in the Open division at the previous selection match but declined the spot to focus on junior competition.   She bested Taylor Gallegos (Prosper, Texas), Alana Townsend (Kalispell, Montana) and Darian Shenk (Annville, Pennsylvania) in winning the NJOSC title. Andrianova was dominant in Women’s Sport Pistol at NJOSC but expect a challenge from runner-up Cindy Chung (Diamond Bar, California) and bronze medalist Gallegos.

In Junior Rifle events where the two qualifying and finals scores athletes earned during NJOSC carry over to this event, Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) and Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Missouri) find themselves among the top-two in both air and three-position rifle events with Sherry holding the advantage in air while Spurgeon leads in three-position. Jean-Pierre Lucas (Speers, Pennsylvania) is in third but four others are within four points of the lead. Spurgeon enjoys a 12-point advantage on Sherry, but the pack is tight with four other athletes within eight points of second place.  Abby Votava (Colorado Springs) is out in front of the Women’s Air Rifle standings with Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) and Minden Miles (Weatherford, Texas) close behind.  Eight athletes are within 15 points of the lead.  Lauren Phillips (Seabeck, Washington) owns a seven-point advantage over Lorelie Stanfield (Fairbanks, Alaska).  Phillips and Stanfield will try and hold off a group of six other female shooters within 11 points of the lead.

For a look back at rifle standings following NJOSC, click here:  http://bit.ly/1pGxNNk

For nine Paralympic team members participating in the upcoming International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in July, USANSC represents the final opportunity to hone their shot prior to their biggest competition before the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.  Members of the 2014 Paralympic Team for World Championships include:  Jazmin Almlie (Houston), Josh Budd (USAMU/Fort Benning, Georgia), McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington), Tammy Delano (Rome, New York), Eric Hollen (Colorado Springs), John Joss (USAMU/Corsicana, Texas), Kerry Morris (USAMU/Grand Prairie, Texas), Mike Tagliapietra (Fon du lac, Wisconsin), Nick Beach (Dresden, Ohio)and Shaun Tichenor (USAMU/Brainerd, Minnesota).

2014 National Championships Schedule

Monday, June 23 & Tuesday, June 24

Women’s Air Rifle; Women’s Paralympic Air Rifle (R2); Men’s 3P Rifle; Standard, Center and Jr Sport Pistol; Paralympic Mixed 25m Pistol (P3); Paralympic Men’s 3P Rifle (R7)

Wednesday, June 25 & Thursday, June 26

M/W Air Pistol, Prone Rifle and Paralympic Air Pistol (P1&P2); Rapid Fire Pistol (PET – Wednesday; Day 1 Thursday); Paralympic Mixed Prone Rifle (R6)

Friday, June 27 & Saturday, June 28

Men’s Air Rifle; Men’s Paralympic Air Rifle (R1); Mixed Paralympic Air Rifle (R4); Rapid Fire Pistol (Day 2); Women’s 3P Rifle; Women’s Paralympic 3P Rifle (R8); Men’s Free Pistol (Saturday); Women’s Sport Pistol (Saturday); Paralympic Mixed 25m Pistol (P3/Saturday); Paralympic Mixed 50m Free Pistol (P4/Saturday)

Sunday, June 29

Paralympic Mixed Prone Air Rifle (SH1/SH2); Women’s Sport (Day 2); Paralympic Mixed 25m Pistol (P3/Day 2); Men’s Free Pistol (Day 2); Paralympic Mixed 50m Free Pistol (P4/Day 2)

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