Derrick Mein and Brian Burrows will be the first men’s trap shooters to represent the U.S. at the Olympic Games in 12 years, while Kayle Browning and Madelynn Bernau will be joining them at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Mein and Browning won their respective divisions at the two-stage U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Shotgun, with the trap competition wrapping up on Monday in Tucson, Arizona.
The U.S. men’s trap program had a boost at the Pan American Games Lima 2019, when Burrows and Derek Haldeman took gold and silver medals, and with those medals also earned Olympic quota spots for the U.S. After not having sent any men’s trap shooters to the 2012 or 2016 Games, Team USA now has two for Tokyo.
The question then was who would fill the spots.
Mein and Burrows led the competition after the first round of trials last September in Kerrville, Texas, and then they maintained those positions throughout Stage 2.
Mein, who grew up on a farm in Paola, in southeast Kansas, is a 13-time state champion but still relatively green internationally. The 34-year-old Mein has competed in just three world cups to date but never in an Olympic Games or world championships. However, Mein has had success domestically across multiple events, including clays, skeet, trap, international trap and helice.
Burrows, of Fallbrook, California, will also be headed to his first Olympic Games. The 32-year-old Burrows has competed in two world championships, including last year, and won a world cup silver medal in trap at a 2013 event. He also won trap mixed team silver with Browning at a March 2019 world cup.
Mixed team trap will make its Olympic debut – along with mixed team events in both pistol and rifle – in Tokyo, with one man and one woman competing together from countries that have either earned a mixed team quota or have an athlete in each gender qualified for individual events.
A 2012 Olympic alternate, Browning did all she could to finally secure her Olympic debut in 2020. She secured an Olympic quota for the U.S., then led after the first stage of trials and now has sealed the deal. The 27-year-old from Wooster, Arkansas, is coming off top-13 finishes in the last two world championships.
Bernau, of Waterford, Wisconsin, will make her Olympic debut at 22. She placed 25th in women's trap at the 2018 junior world championships and made her world cup debut in 2019.
Two notable women will not be heading to Tokyo, however. Ashley Carroll, who in 2019 became the first American woman in 20 years to win a trap world title, finished fourth. Three-time Olympian Corey Cogdell-Unrein, who won her second Olympic bronze medal in 2016, also did not qualify.
Carroll and Rachel Tozier will serve as the women’s replacement athletes, while Seth Inman and 2008 Olympian Jeff Holguin are next up for the men.