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.

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October 22nd, 2011

Shotgunners Eller and Rhode Win Gold at Pan American Games

Pan American Games Glenn EllerSGT Glenn Eller of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit has won the Gold medal in Men’s Double Trap at the Pan American Games. Eller started well, hitting 49 out of 50 targets. Eller then shot a perfect 50 targets in his second round and 48 targets in the third round for 147 targets total. That was a new Pan American record, and just one target less than the world record. Eller’s total score of 195 targets (including the Final) smashed the existing Pan American record of 187 targets, and again, was just one target shy of the world record.

Needless to say Eller put up an amazing performance — one of the best ever by a Trap shooter. Eller’s Gold marks the twelfth shooting medal for the U.S. at the Pan American Games, and sixth Gold medal. Eller’s win was especially impressive because he had to overcome two trigger-related malfunctions in the Final. “We were fortunate to have good conditions and the Jalisco Hunting Club is the nicest venue in the Americas,” commented Eller. Puerto Rico’s Jose Torres won the silver medal with 136 match targets and 49 targets in the final for 185 total targets. Luis Da Graca of Brazil won the bronze medal with a perfect final of 50 targets for 182 total targets.

Pan American Games Kim RhodeKim Rhode Wins Women’s Skeet Gold Medal
Four-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode added yet another major victory to her resume, winning gold in Women’s Skeet at the Pan American Games. Rhode ran her first round with a perfect 25 targets in Women’s Skeet. Rhode, currently ranked #1 in the world in Women’s Skeet, continued to shine with two rounds of 24 targets for a total of 73 targets headed into the final. By the time she was finished, Rhode, the first American nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team, had set a new Pan American qualification and final record with 98 total targets. The silver medalist was Francisca Crovetto of Chile (89 targets) and the bronze medalist was Gil Melisa of Argentina (88 targets).

Rhode, who switched from Women’s Double Trap to Women’s Skeet after her original event was removed, has medaled in every major world championship in both events. Rhode’s grandmother passed away while the team was en route to Mexico. Rhode said, “I’d like to dedicate this medal to my grandmother because she taught me to work hard and stick with it.”

For more information on Team USA shooters at the Pan American Games, visit USAShooting.org.

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