The shotgunner’s battle to reach the 2016 Olympics in Rio is intense. If you ‘ve followed me for any time at all, you know I’ve interviewed five-time Olympic medalist, Kim Rhode, numerous times. I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet, guide and learn tips at the range from Team USA’s Janessa Beaman. I’m excited to see they’re still in contention for seats on the United States Olympic team. Talk about mentors! The determination is second to none. This is what champions are made of. There are of course other FABULOUS shooters vying for the spots to go to Rio and represent America. Best of luck, ladies! ~Mia
One spot is available to the top overall finisher in Women’s Skeet, Men’s Skeet, Double Trap and Women’s Trap. The U.S. did not qualify for an Olympic slot in Men’s Trap, though the event will still be contested in Tillar. Results from stage one of Olympic Trials that took place October 9-17, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona, carry-over to this match. The program for stage two will include an additional two qualification rounds and two separate Finals matches per event. The winner will be the athlete with the highest cumulative score from four total qualification matches, plus bonus points obtained for any Finals finishes.
The Delta Shooting Sports Complex is hosting the major event, which is the second time the renowned shooting center is getting to host a major USA Shooting match. This time though the conditions and intensity will be entirely different than they were during the Fall Selection Match the resort hosted in November 2014. The Complex, located approximately 90 minutes from Little Rock, sits on 2,000 acres in the heart of Southeastern Arkansas, and includes five bunker fields and four skeet fields.
Women’s Skeet — Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) did enough over 250 targets and two finals to ensure she’ll have a five-target advantage to start things in Tillar. Rhode built her lead by out-shooting her opponents by three targets during 250 qualifying targets over four days with a 237/250. She finished first in the first Final and then earned a bronze medal in the second Final. Rhode comes into Tillar having earned a silver medal during the recent Rio World Cup, while finishing sixth in the season-opening World Cup in Cyprus. Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colorado) is within striking distance, down by five after hitting 233/250 and finishing second and third in each of the two finals to put herself into second place. English finished fourth behind Rhode at World Cup Rio. Nine back of Rhode is 16-year-old Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) who announced her presence among a talented field with a terrific performance throughout the week that included appearances in both finals. Since she’s earned a World Cup bronze medal in Cyprus and just won a gold medal at the Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany. Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Florida) is in fourth position, 12 targets out. FULL STAGE 1 RECAP
Trap — Janessa Beaman (Colorado Springs, Colorado) emerged as the front-runner in the grueling desert test last fall shooting three targets better in qualifying over two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) and then beating her in the second final to take a two-point lead. Cogdell-Unrein comes into Tillar having finished eighth and 12th in both World Cups this year. Beaman, meanwhile, hasn’t found her stride yet with 24th and 27th-place finishes. Also in contention is Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California), just five targets back. Her two World Cup finishes in 2016 have been ninth and 31st. FULL STAGE 1 RECAP
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