The last medals of the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol were handed out today at the home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit in the Women’s Sport Pistol, Paralympic Rifle and Free Pistol events.
For the more than 200 athletes competing across the Rifle, Pistol and Paralympic events, National Championship titles, as well potential invitations to the National and National Junior Teams were on the line for most of the events. Medals were awarded today in Women’s Sport Pistol and Paralympic Rifle events were based on the cumulative score from two days of Qualification matches, as well as additional points earned based on finish in the Final.
In a competition that was plagued by multiple delays from severe weather rolling through the area, the Women’s Sport Pistol championship title would be decided in a shootoff as Air Pistol National Champion Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nevada) and 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft(Phenix City, Alabama) were tied in points following the two days of Qualification and the additional points earned by their Finals finishes. It all, however, came down to a single, five-shot series in which Uptagrafft would be crowned National Champion with Lagan taking home the silver. Sarah Choe (Los Angeles, California) won the bronze medal (Women's Sport Pistol medalists pictured).
Choe, 17, also won the Junior Women’s Sport Pistol title, with Katelyn Abeln (Douglasville, Georgia) winning the silver and Abbie Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia) winning the bronze. Choe won the Junior Women’s Air Pistol title earlier in the week.
In Men’s Free Pistol, Richard Gray (Fredericksburg, Virginia) won the gold medal, James Hall(Anniston, Alabama) won the silver and Samuel Gens (Andover, Massachusetts) won the bronze.
Gens would claim the Junior Men’s Free Pistol title as well with Paul Kang (Los Angeles, California) winning the silver and Bernard Melus, Jr. (Lake Zurich, Illinois) winning the bronze.
In addition to the National Championships, this event was also a World Shooting Para Sport-sanctioned (WSPS, formerly IPC) match so Paralympic athletes from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Columbia competed across the Paralympic Rifle and Pistol events.
Kevin Nguyen (Westminster, California) won the R3 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1) event by dominating the R5 Final from start to finish, eventually winning the gold by 3.1 points. Taylor Farmer (Castalia, Ohio) won the silver medal and Nick Beach (Dresden, Ohio) won the bronze.
In the R5 (Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH2) event, 2016 Paralympic Games gold medalist Vasyl Kovalchuk of Ukraine won gold once again in Fort Benning. The silver went to 2016 Paralympian Jazmin Almlie-Ryan (Houston, Texas) and bronze went to Phillip Eaglesham of Ireland.
Medals were also awarded in the R2 (Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1) event in which Farmer won the gold and 2016 Paralympian Tammy Delano (Rome, New York) won the silver.
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