U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Men’s Double Trap took center stage Friday during the 2016 Fall Selection Match with 2017 World Cup selection decided and match awards handed out at the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas. Per usual in this event, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) displayed their national prowess with Jeff Holguin and Glenn Eller walking away with the biggest prizes.
Sgt. 1st Class Holguin (Yorba Linda, California) earned the top spot in the race for 2017 World Cup selection, winning by six points overall to Sgt. 1st Class Eller (Katy, Texas. USAMU teammate Sgt. Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) was third. Seventeen-year-old Hank Garvey (Newburyport, Massachusetts) finished fourth overall for World Cup selection, nine points back of Haldeman.
“Kerrville hosted a good match with great targets,” Holguin said afterward. “The targets here are always challenging with the wind and it really tests your ability to make adjustments. I’m looking forward to competing against the world’s best next year, no matter where that is. The current double trap format is awesome because depending on your draw, every round presents slightly different challenges.”
While four Army veterans, including two-time Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pennsylvania), dominate the headlines in this event, Garvey’s accomplishments in 2016 didn’t go unnoticed. All the high school senior did was shoot in every open Final throughout the year while being the top junior in every national shotgun event during the season. Garvey’s Junior Shotgun Slam included being top junior at Olympic Trials, Junior Olympic Champ, National Junior Champ, Scholastic Clay Target Program International Champ and now Fall Selection Junior Champ.
Results from the Fall Selection combined with results from July’s USA Shooting National Championship were used to determine Team spots for 2017 World Cup Selection. Top aggregate scores from three courses of fire including one from Nationals and two from Fall Selection, plus three separate Finals, helped determine overall placement and selection. Holguin, with the top high aggregate score, will have the choice of start positions at two of the three World Cups. Eller and Haldeman will have the choice of a start position at one of the three World Cups. The remaining World Cup start positions will be filled by National Coach staff selection. That selection process will include consideration of scores at national level competitions and results at international events, among other factors.
The International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup schedule for 2017 features three shotgun events including the season-opener in New Delhi, India, February 22-March 4, Acapulco, Mexico, March 17-27 and Larnaca, Cyprus, April 28 – May 8. The 2017 season will also feature the Shotgun World Championship in Moscow, Russia, August 30-September 9.
Noteworthy, was the fact that Eller won of the gold-medal finals that went into the overall World Cup selection totals as well as one of the qualification matches. Holguin was the highest qualifier twice, finished second to Eller in two of the medal matches and also added a fourth-place finish. Holguin was nine targets better than Eller over the three qualification matches.
Thanks to his gold-medal victories in each of the Fall Selection Match Finals, Eller would earn top honors for the Fall Selection match, besting Holguin by one-point. Eller jumped out to a big lead Thursday behind a six-point qualification advantage over Holguin and added to it with a win in the gold-medal match while Holguin was fourth. It was Holguin’s day Friday in qualification, beating Eller by nine points. The two would meet in today’s gold-medal final after Eller shot a perfect 30/30 in the semifinals to top Garvey by one point in aggregate (Qualification + Semifinals score), and Holguin hit 28 to advance easily. Eller would not miss this time around either and would win by two points over Holguin, securing the one-point win overall in Fall Selection.
Richmond finished third, but was ineligible for World Cup Selection after not competing at Nationals. Still, the two-time Olympian is likely to get one of the coach selections spots available in 2017. Haldeman and Garvey finished in a tie for fourth after Garvey defeated Haldeman in the bronze-medal match by a score of 27-25.
Holguin will represent Team USA at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup Final in Rome, Italy on October 12. It will be the sixth World Cup Final for the 37-year-old California native. He won the event in 2014 and earned bronze back in 2009.
Men’s Skeet Update
The first of two Men’s Skeet Finals was also contested Friday. Zach McBee (College Station, Texas) is currently leading for 2017 World Cup Selection with a one-point advantage over USAMU’s Dustan Taylor (Staley, North Carolina). Another USAMU skeet shooter Mark Staffen (Lewis Center, Ohio) sits in third, three points back. Christian Elliott (), also a USAMU athlete, is first in the Fall Selection Match standings, earning a one-point advantage over Staffen by defeating him in their exciting gold-medal match final. Both athletes were a perfect 15/15 before Elliott finally earned the victory during a shoot-off.
The Men’s Skeet athletes will conclude their match with 125 more qualification targets and another final on Sunday.
Women’s Skeet Update
In Day 1 of 2 in Women’s Skeet Thursday, Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) missed just one target on the day and then followed through with a Finals win over Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Florida), the day’s second-best qualifier with a 72. Six-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) earned the bronze-medal match victory over Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan).
In the race for 2017 World Cup Selection, Vizzi has a one-point advantage over Connor, with Jacob three behind Vizzi. Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colorado) is fourth, 3.5 points back of third. Rhode skipped the first part of Selection during Nationals to prepare for her Olympic run. The final day in Women’s Skeet is set for Saturday.