June 17th, 2019

Team USA Rifle Shooters Head to Peru for Pan-American Games

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Olympics Pan American Games Peru

Seven United States rifle competitors, including Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher, will compete for Team USA at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru. The XVIII Pan American Games will be contested July 26 – August 11 and will feature over 6,500 athletes from 41 nations.

Athletes were determined based on results of the 2019 Spring Selection Match held March 25-30 in Fort Benning, Georgia. In search of three Olympic quotas, Team USA will include the reigning Olympic champion Thrasher, now competing in Three-Position (3P) smallbore (not Air Rifle where she won Gold). She’ll be joined by her 2016 Olympic teammates Michael McPhail, and Lucas Kozeniesky. The full list of all Pan-American Games USA Rifle competitors is at the end of this story.

In men’s Three-Position Smallbore, two-time Olympian McPhail is slotted to compete alongside his U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) teammate Tim Sherry. Sherry will also compete in Air Rifle and in the Mixed Team Air Rifle competition with Weisz.

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Olympics Pan American Games Peru

This will be the first Pan American Games for Thrasher, who recently graduated from West Virginia University. While at WVU, Thrasher won the 2016 NCAA smallbore and air rifle titles and helped lead the Mountaineers to two NCAA National Championships, while earning 12 All-America awards.

Shooting Olympics prone smallbore 50 meter 50m ISSF World Cup Team USA
SFC Michael McPhail has switched from prone smallbore rifle to three-position smallbore.

Gunning for a third Olympic opportunity, McPhail had to re-invent himself after his discipline (Prone Rifle) was eliminated from the Olympic program after 2016. The USAMU soldier now shoots Three-Position Smallbore Rifle very well indeed — McPhail won the Spring Selection Match and earned a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships.

(more…)

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June 8th, 2018

USA Shooting National Championships at Fort Benning

USA Shooting national championships fort benning georgia ISSF smallbore air rifle pistol

More than 200 shooters from around the country will make their annual pilgrimage to the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit this weekend as the week-long USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol kick off Sunday in Fort Benning, Georgia. The National Championships start Sunday, June 10 and run through June 16. This event is free and open to the public.

Click HERE for USA Shooting National Championships Schedule of Events PDF »

This year’s National Championship will also be the first Nationals where the new ISSF shooting format will be in place, with men and women taking the same number of record shots in competition.

USA Shooting national championships fort benning georgia ISSF smallbore air rifle pistol

National titles and slots on the National/National Junior/National Paralympic Teams will be up for grabs as athletes compete in individual Olympic and Paralympic events in Rifle and Pistol disciplines, as well as Men’s and Women’s 50m Prone Rifle, Men’s 25m Center Fire and Standard Pistol and Men’s 50m Free Pistol. This match will also serve as the selection match for the 2018 International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championships to be held August 31 – September 15 in Changwon, South Korea. Shooters who’ve already earned slots on the World Championship Team will be looking to Nationals as as a tune-up prior for the Worlds.

USA Shooting national championships fort benning georgia ISSF smallbore air rifle pistol

Among the notable Rifle athletes who will be competing in Fort Benning are three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher, and two-time Olympian Michael McPhail of the USAMU. Emmons and Thrasher posted the top finishes for American Rifle athletes this year on the ISSF circuit. Emmons just missed the podium at the April 2018 World Cup in Changwon, finishing fourth in Men’s Three-Position Rifle. Thrasher finished fifth in Women’s Air Rifle at the World Cup in Fort Benning just three weeks ago.

Ginny Thrasher USA Shooting National Championships Fort Benning

Paralympic Competition Draws Shooters from Many Nations

In addition to the National Championships, this event is also a World Shooting Para Sport-sanctioned (WSPS, formerly IPC) match so Paralympic athletes from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Ukraine and Columbia will also compete in this match across the Paralympic Rifle and Pistol events.

USA Shooting National Championships Fort Benning

USA Shooting National Championships Fort Benning

Archive photos courtesy NRA Competitive Shooting.

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October 23rd, 2017

Team USA at ISSF World Cup Final in India this Week

Team USA Trap Mixed Team Ashley Carroll Derek Haldemann

Ten USA Shooting athletes compete this week at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in New Delhi, India. Some 160 shooters from 15 countries will compete in this year’s invitation-only World Cup Final which runs October 22-30, 2017. Most of the Team USA squad in India are shotgunners. This year our Skeet/Trap shooters, including six-time Olympic Medalist Kim Rhode (above left), have garnered 26 top-10 finishes plus 12 individual medals and eight team medals.

The new Olympic events of Air Rifle Mixed Team, Air Pistol Mixed Team, and Trap Mixed Team kick off this ISSF World Cup Final in India. The USA has two pairs in the Trap Mixed Team event: Kayle Browning/Jake Wallace and World Championship bronze medalists Ashley Carroll/Derek Haldeman.

Browning and Wallace won a team silver at the World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico. Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) and Derek Haldeman (USAMU, Sunbury, Ohio) won team bronze at the World Championship in Moscow, Russia. Interestingly, Ashley and Derek have a life together away from the trap range — they have been dating for two years now.

Team USA Trap Mixed Team Ashley Carroll Derek Haldemann

“The way the team event goes, it’s still a pretty individual game,” said Haldeman, who will make his World Cup Final debut in New Delhi. Haldeman, a Double Trap specialist, converted to Trap this season upon Double Trap’s elimination from the Olympic program. “It’s hard to help each other out during the actual competition. Ashley came down to Fort Benning to work on stuff. We worked on how we can work together, what we can say and what we can’t say, and that’s kind of how we were getting ready for World Cup Final. We’ll shoot together, have fun with it and see what happens!”

Ashley will compete again later in the week as the lone U.S. competitor in Women’s Trap. Carroll had a breakout year in 2017, winning her third National Championship win in a row, along with a gold-medal win and world-record finish at World Cup Acapulco.

Thrasher is Sole American Rifle Shooter at ISSF World Cup Final
2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) is the sole USA Rifle competitor at the 2017 ISSF World Cup Final. Thrasher, who earned her berth by virtue of winning Olympic Gold in Rio, took Bronze at the 2016 World Cup Final in Bologna, Italy.

Ginny Thrasher ISSF World Cup Final Olympic gold medal

ISSF World Cup Final
Competition commenced Sunday and concludes on October 30. The ISSF World Cup Final runs each year at the conclusion of the World Cup season. Athletes earn points through finishes throughout the season, with the eight best athletes in each event earning invitations to this match. Wild card invitations are also granted to title defenders, and in years of the Olympic Games and World Championships, to the three medalists in each event.

Finals will be streamed live on the ISSF website, on the Federation’s Livestream channel, on its official Facebook page and on the Olympic Channel.

ISSF World Cup Finals Schedule (All times USA Eastern Time)

Tuesday, October 24th: Trap Mixed Team at 4:30 am
Wednesday, October 25th: Skeet Women at 5:30 am
Thursday, October 26th: 10m Air Rifle Women at 2:30 am; Skeet Men at 5:30 am
Saturday, October 28th: Trap Women at 5:00 am
Sunday, October 29th: 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men at 12:45 am

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June 26th, 2017

Top 50 Female Competitive Shooters — the SSUSA.org List

Top 50 Fifty female lady competitive Shooters

While the majority of competitive shooters are male, some of the very best shooters are female. Competitive shooting is one sport where men and women do compete head-to-head at the highest level. You won’t see that in tennis, or cycling, or basketball, but in shooting, it’s not unusual to see a talented lady on top of the podium. There still are gender-based classifications in some shooting disciplines, but in F-Class, NRA High Power, and Benchrest women can and do compete on a par with men. These talented ladies have proven themselves capable of winning National and International Championships against all comers.


Top 50 Women in Competitive Shooting on Shooting Sports USA »

To celebrate the skills and talent of lady shooters, Shooting Sports USA recently created a great article showcasing 50 of the most talented female shooters in the USA. This list includes Olympic gold medalists (in shotgun and air rifle), Pistol champions, Palma rifle shooters, PRS competitors, and 3-gun specialists. Here are some of the 50 notables from the list. CLICK HERE to see the whole list.

Kim Rhode Shotgun Top 50 Lady ShootersKim Rhode: One of a few household names on this list, Kim Rhode and her Olympic bronze medal performance in Rio last year made her a six-time Olympic medal recipient. Kim has won an Olympic medal on five continents. Additionally she won the Women’s Skeet Final at the 2016 ISSF Shotgun World Cup Final in Rome, Italy. She plans to “definitely [go] for Tokyo in 2020. If Los Angeles gets the bid for the next one, (even if they don’t) I’ll probably go to the 2024 Olympic Games. There’s no reason for me to stop at this point.” Kim was recently elected to the NRA Board of Directors. Editor: Kim is a once-in-a-generation shooter; we support her work with the NRA.

Ginny Thrasher Top 50 Lady ShootersGinny Thrasher: This Olympic gold medalist needs little introduction. Quietly arriving on the scene after years racking up smallbore and air rifle victories, Ginny Thrasher arrived at West Virginia University and made history. Not only did she win the smallbore championship at NCAA in 2016, but her performance at the Rio 2016 Olympics started a media frenzy. Winning the first U.S. Gold Medal of the Games will do that. Prior to glory on the international stage, Ginny was winning NRA smallbore championships as a member of Northern Virginia’s own Junior Acorns team.

Lena Miculek Top 50 Lady ShootersLena Miculek: The daughter of master shooter Jerry Miculek, Lena burst onto the competitive shooting scene in 2005 with five consecutive Sportsman’s Team Challenge Junior national titles. Moving on to 3-gun, by 2015 she had an astonishing 89 percent win rate. Lena was the 2016 NRA World Shooting Ladies Champion. Recently, she traveled to Russia to compete at the inaugural IPSC World Rifle Championship, along with her mother Kay Miculek, Ashley Rheuark, and Maggie Reese. Lena and Team USA’s women’s team won Gold in the women’s Open division, and Lena won a second Gold Medal as the Ladies Open Division Individual Champion.

Lanny Tracy Barnes Top 50 Lady Shooters

Lanny and Tracey Barnes: Both highly decorated Olympic biathletes, the identical Barnes twins have been on the World Cup circuit for over a decade. At the age of 18, they made their first World Junior Championship team and medaled in the World Junior Championships the next year. Lanny competed in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics, and Tracy competed in the 2006 and was an alternate in 2010. Lanny posted the best U.S. finish in 16 years in 2010 with perfect shooting. These days, the twins compete in 3-gun and Sportsman’s Team Challenge—and also are serious hunters.

Kirsten Joy Weiss Top 50 Lady ShootersKirsten Joy Weiss: Before making great trick-shot videos on YouTube, Kirsten Weiss was a smallbore rifle champion, winning high lady and second place overall at the NRA 3-position smallbore nationals in 2012. Remarkably, Kristen shot the any sight match with iron sights, while many of her fellow shooters were using scopes. For those new to rimfire, Weiss says, “It is almost always better to start with iron sights rather than a scope. Scopes can be a crutch, but interestingly enough they can also help in developing bad habits if your fundamental marksmanship skills aren’t developed yet.”

Nancy, Sherri, and Michelle — The Tompkins/Gallager Clan

There are three more ladies, champions all, who should be included in the Top 50 list. We would definitely add Nancy Tompkins, and daughters Sherri Gallagher and Michelle Gallagher to this list. Nancy and Sherri are the only two women in history to have won the National High Power championship. Michelle Gallagher has won the Long Range National championship and she also serves as the coach of the U.S.A. F-Open team at the 2017 F-Class World Championships. Nancy Tompkins has rightly been called the “First Lady of American Shooting” and rightly so. You won’t find a nicer person, or a more talented shooter. Sherri, currently with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute Team, was an ace shooter with the USAMU squad who earned U.S. Army’s Soldier of the Year honors in 2010.

Accurateshooter.com Nancy Tompkins Sherri Jo Gallagher Michelle Gallagher

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August 20th, 2016

U.S.A. Shooting’s Women Bring Home Medals

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Rio Olympic Games 10m Air Rifle

The Rio Olympics shooting competition has ended, and USA Shooting Team’s medalists are all women. Ginny Thrasher of Virginia got the USA medal count off to a great start by winning the first gold medal of the 2016 Olympic games in Women’s Air Rifle, and Corey Cogdell-Unrein repeated as bronze medalist in Women’s Trap. By winning a bronze medal in skeet last Friday, 37-year-old Kim Rhode became the first female and summer Olympian ever to win medals in six consecutive Olympic Games. Read coverage in the LA Times, USA Today and Associated Press. Kim Rhode’s Olympic Odyssey.

Shooting Sports USA profiled Ginny Thrasher, winner of the very first Gold Medal awarded at the Rio Olympic games:

Ginny Thrasher Gold Medal Rio Olympic Games 10m Air Rifle

For 36 hours, Thrasher was the face of Team USA as the lone gold medalist, winning the first medal of the 2016 Olympic Games. The 19-year-old WVU sophomore was propelled into the media spotlight…

Thrasher explained how she coped with the pressures of competing in the most important sporting event on earth:

“I think this competition is one where you can mentally out-think yourself, and that’s the danger. For me, just being very focused. During the match I started out with some struggles, and I had to come off the line and my Olympic coach down there said, ‘Ginny, all you can do is shoot the best you can.’ I got back on the line, and that’s what I did. I shot the best that I could. I had a very bad hold, but it didn’t matter. Once I got into the final, I was very much focused on my breathing, and that was the point where all the training and all the discipline just came through for me. All I did was focus on my breathing and let my body do what it knew how to do.”

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August 5th, 2016

Olympic Shooting Sports Schedules and Coverage

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games kick off today with the Opening Ceremony. Shooting sports will be a part of these Olympics with competitions for rifle, pistol, and shotgun. From August 6 though August 14, Olympic shooters will compete in Brazil’s ultra-modern Olympic Shooting Center, originally created for the 2007 Pan-American Games at a cost of $53.5 million.

CLICK HERE for USA Shooting Olympic Preview with Team Profiles

SFC Michael McPhail Team USA
SFC Michael McPhail, shown above, is currently ranked #1 in the world in the smallbore 50m prone rifle discipline. He’s one of the favorites to win Gold in 2016.

2016 Olympic Media Coverage — TV and Internet
There will be some broadcast television coverage of shooting events. But the best way to follow the shooting matches is through streaming on the internet. NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports App will live stream 4,500 total hours of Olympics coverage — covering every event. Each day you can click the NBC Live Stream Schedule for Shooting Sports Events to see what’s running. CLICK HERE for complete shooting sports schedule.

With Rio just one hour ahead of the Eastern Time zone, Americans will enjoy great “real-time” coverage of the 2016 Summer Games. NBCUniversal will present 2,084 hours of Olympic programming across 11 affiliated TV and Cable networks.

Olympic Shooting Event Schedule

Note: All times are listed in Eastern Standard Time, one hour AFTER Rio Local Time. These are events with USA competitors.

Friday, August 5
7:00 pm Opening Ceremony

Saturday, August 6
7:30 am – 10m Air Rifle Women
9:30 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Women
12:00 pm – 10m Air Pistol Men
2:30 pm – Finals 10m Air Pistol Men

Sunday, August 7
8:00 am – 10m Air Pistol Women
8:00 am – Trap Women
10:00 am – Finals 10m Air Pistol Women
2:00 pm – Finals Trap Women

Monday, August 8
8:00 am – 10m Air Rifle Men
11:00 am – Finals 10m Air Rifle Men

Tuesday, August 9
8:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Precision Stage
11:00 am – 25m Pistol Women Rapid Stage
2:30 pm – Finals 25m Pistol Women

Wednesday, August 10
8:00 am – 50m Pistol Men
8:00 am – Double Trap Men
11:00 am – Finals 50m Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Double Trap Men

Thursday, August 11
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Women
11:00 am – Finals Rifle 3-Position Women

Friday, August 12
8:00 am – 50m Rifle Prone Men
8:00 am – Skeet Women
9:30 am – Skeet Men Day 1
10:00 am – Finals 50m Rifle Prone Men
11:15 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 1
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Women

Saturday, August 13
8:00 am – 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men Stage 2
8:30 am – Skeet Men Day 2
11:30 am – Finals 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men
2:00 pm – Finals Skeet Men

Sunday, August 14
8:00 am – 50m Rifle 3-Position Men
12:00 pm – Finals 50m Rifle 3-Position Men

You’ll find more information on Team USA and Olympic Shooting Competition on these websites:

usashooting.org
nbcolympics.com/shooting
teamusa.org

issf-sports.org
Rio2016.com
olympic.org

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June 28th, 2016

Olympics-Bound Ginny Thrasher Wins National Air Rifle Title

Virginia “Ginny” Thrasher, who will compete in the Rio Olympics this summer, showed continued dominance of her sport by winning the women’s national Air Rifle title last week at Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the USAMU. Mindy has been on fire in recent months. In April she won the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Smallbore Rifle, securing a spot at the Rio Olympics. Prior to that, Ginny won individual NCAA titles in both air rifle and smallbore — as a freshman! This girl is a genuine phenom…

Thrasher, a member of the West Virginia University Mountaineers, has been on a tear of late. After winning the the Olympic Trials in Three-Position Rifle in April, she then earned two finals appearances at the Munich World Cup in May. Prior to that, Ginny’s sharpshooting earned her individual NCAA titles in air rifle and smallbore. With those performances, the talented freshman led West Virginia University to the collegiate team title and was named Top Performer of the 2016 NCAA Shooting Championship.

Her WVU coach, Jon Hammond, said Ginny has had an amazing run to Rio: “It’s an unbelievable freshman year to win NCAA championships and qualify for the Olympics. I would hazard she’s probably going to be one of the youngest members of the U.S. shooting team at the Olympics.”

Thrasher earned her way onto the national team with a stellar performance at the 2015 U.S. championships, where she won five medals, three in junior competition and two in open competition. That performance propelled her into her freshman season at West Virginia University.

This year’s USA Shooting National Championships includes more than 300 athletes vying for National Team selections and the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Other shooters attending this year’s Nationals are looking ahead to the next Olympic Games — Tokyo 2020.

Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas) finished second at Nationals behind Thrasher in the women’s Air Rifle Event. Thrasher’s Team USA teammate at the Rio Olympics, Sarah Scherer (Woburn, Massachusetts), won the Final to finish third overall.

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