Marines tie Army in Warrior Games medal count after strong day of shooting

By Katherine Keel | May 13, 2013, 10 p.m. (ET)

Marines won 14 medals in shooting at the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte
Marine Corps won 13 medals in the shooting competition of the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ― Day 2 of the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte featured the shooting competition, held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

At the 2012 Warrior Games, the Marine Corps swept the events, obliterating the competition by winning 20 of the 24 possible medals. This year, however, the playing field was much more even.

“The other branches came ready to play today,” said shooting instructor Roger Withrow, a Paralympic Games gold medalist. “But the Marines arrived to train in Colorado Springs three weeks ago. They were the first branch out here by a long shot.”

Their extensive training and preparation appeared to pay off, as the Marine Corps emerged victorious in the shooting events, garnering 13 medals total.

Army gathered eight Navy claimed two and the Air Force took home one.

In overall medal standings, Army and Marines now have 17 each.

In the Pistol SH1 category, the Marines Master Sgt. Dionisios Nicholas (Mililani, Hawaii) claimed first with a total score of 453.2, while Army Spc. Michael Phillips (427.1) of Hamilton, Ga., and veteran Frank Barroquiero (426.2) of Gainsville, Ga., took second and third, respectively.

For the Pistol Open category, Staff Sgt. Phillip Shockley (Jacksonville, N.C.) of the Marines snagged another gold medal, finishing with a score of 439. Once again, Army rounded out the podium with Chief Warrant Officer 2 Alan Hart (438.6) of Augusta, Ga., and Spc. Jon Brancheau (432.7) of Fort Bliss, Texas.

Competing in the Prone SH2 classification, the Marines once again proved victorious, as Gunnery Sgt. Pedro Aquino (Oceanside, Calif.) grabbed gold with a score of 498.6. His fellow comrade, Cpl. Angel Gomez (Visalia, Calif.), placed second with 498.6 and Army’s Staff Sgt. Michael Lage (San Antonio, Texas) claimed bronze with 496.2.

Navy Lt. Junior Grade Laura Root (Silver Spring, Md.) won gold in the Prone Open category, soundly defeating the rest of the field with a score of 497.4. Air Force captain Mitchell Kieffer (Newport News, Va.) took silver with 496, while Marine Sgt. Clayton McDaniel from (Molalla, Ore.) of the Marine orps won bronze in 493.8.

For the Standing SH2 competition, the Marines swept the field, taking home all three medals. Veteran Richard Stalder (Muenster, Texas) grabbed the top spot in 494.6, while Cpl. Gomez (485.6) and Gunnery Sgt. Aquino (483.5) won their second individual medals.

In the Standing SH1 category, Army won its first gold, as Maj. John Arbino (Ft. Belvoir, Va.) claimed first in 435.2. The Marines rounded out the field with Private 1st Class Artem Lazukin (433.1) of El Cajon, Calif., and veteran Joey Smith (433) of Shelby, N.C., placing second and third, respectively.

For the Standing Open competition, Army Staff Sgt. David Carte (El Paso, Texas) grabbed gold, finishing with a score of 436.7, while the Marine veteran Luke Prentice (Rockford, Ill.) claimed second in 436.6. Army won its second medal of the event, as Nathan Robbins (Fort Bliss, Texas) claimed bronze with 415.1.

In the final competition of the day, Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class John Kremer (Dacula, Ga.) won gold with a score of 502.3, while the Sgt. Nicholas won his second medal of the competition, claiming silver in 494.3. His fellow comrade, veteran Brian Riley (San Diego, Calif.), took third in 494.

“I’ve been involved in shooting since 1984, but it's always interesting to watch competitions like this,” said USA shooting instructor Jim Bush, an Army veteran.

“While in combat, the goal is ‘shoot before you get shot,’ whereas in precision style competitions like the Warrior Games, there is much more emphasis on technique and form,” he said. “There is no correlation between serving in the military and performing well in competition, so the results prove to be pretty fun and unpredictable.”

Following cycling Sunday and shooting Monday, Army and Marines are tied at the top of the medal standing with 17. Air Force has four medals, Navy has three medals and Special Operations has four.

Officially competing at the Warrior Games for the first time, British Armed Forces has yet to appear on the podium through Day 2.

For more on the 2013 Warrior Games presented by Deloitte, visit