Conditions were not ideal for trap shooting, but that did not stop Ashley Carroll and Jake Wallace from earning berths on the 2017 world cup team at USA Shooting’s Fall Selection Match at the Hill Country Shooting Sports Center in Kerrville, Texas.
Results from one course of fire at July’s national championship were combined with two courses from this week’s Fall Selection Match to determine start positions for the 2017 world cup season. The shooters with the highest aggregate score will have the choice of start positions at two of three world cup competitions, while the second- and third-highest each will have the choice of a start position at one world cup.
In women’s trap, Carroll backed up the national championship she won in July with a solid performance, coming out on top of an outstanding field of shooters as well as Mother Nature, who added wind and rain to the challenge Monday. Carroll and Caitlin Barney-Weinheimer each hit 69 of 75 targets to advance to the final, where they matched each other target for target. The final round ended with a 13-13 tie, with Carroll emerging victorious in the shoot-off.
A native of Solvang, California, Carroll picked up her second career Fall Selection title, having won her first at the age of 17 in 2012. She was introduced to the sport at a young age, tagging along with her father to local matches and finally picking up a gun when she was 8 years old, then moving into international trap as a seventh-grader. She already has a world championships gold medal to her credit as part of the winning team at the 2011 worlds, as well as a medal of each hue from the national championships – bronze in 2013, silver in 2014 and gold earlier this year.
Two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein finished second in the world cup selection process after a sub-par performance Monday. She overcame a surprisingly low score of 61 to earn a spot in the semifinals through a shoot-off, then nailed down a third-place finish. The three-time Olympian will close out her season Oct. 14 at the World Cup Final in Rome. Kayle Browning Thomas placed third in world cup selection after earning a silver-medal finish in Texas.
On the men’s side, Wallace completed a remarkable comeback to take the gold medal and the top spot in the world cup selection process. Down by 11 points after the first round of qualifying at July’s national championships, the Torrance, California, native went back to work on the range to prepare for the Fall Selection Match, and his efforts paid off handsomely. He overcame the same weather that challenged the women, then handled yet another curveball from nature on Tuesday: Snout nose butterflies were migrating across the range, turning the skies into what was described as a confetti shower.
Bradley Beckmann claimed silver in both the Fall Selection Match and world cup selection, earning his second opportunity to represent the U.S. after competing in the 2013 at a world cup match in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Chris Haire also earned his second world cup berth by finishing third in the world cup selection process, while Roe Reynolds, a 17-year-old from Quitman, Arkansas, won the bronze medal for the Fall Selection Match.
The 2017 world cup schedule, which begins the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, opens in New Delhi, Feb. 22-March 4, followed by stops March 17-27 in Acapulco, Mexico, and April 28-May 8 in Lamaca, Cyprus. The 2017 season will be highlighted by the shotgun world championships, scheduled for Aug. 30-Sept. 9 in Moscow.