(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – July 1, 2019) – Best in the World. That’s the goal for USA Shooting’s 24 team members competing at the 2019 International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Championships starting Tuesday in Lonato del Garda, Italy.
Two team members have previously claimed that title in their careers, but crave to retain the title yet again. They’ll have to do so competing against each other in Women’s Skeet and that’s 2010 World Champion Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) as well as 2017 World Champion and 2014 Junior World Champion Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Florida). Those two along with Sam Simonton (Gainesville, Georgia) will be looking to keep alive a streak that includes four straight world titles in the event for Team USA.
Rhode hasn’t been beat in four consecutive World Cup events, so she’s red-hot and looking to use this Worlds as momentum for a run at making her seventh U.S. Olympic Team and trying to medal in her seventh-straight Olympic Games. Rhode earned silver last year in a historic medal sweep for Team USA in this event that featured Caitlin Connor earning the gold and Amber English claiming bronze. Vizzi has proven in the past that the biggest moments aren’t too big for her, having medaled in all four World Championship events she’s competed in. Simonton broke the World Record at the World Cup in Acapulco, Mexico earlier this season with 123/125 in Qualification and she’s coming off a month in which she won the both Junior National and National Junior Olympic titles. Still a junior, she’ll compete in the Open ranks this time around after third and sixth-place finishes at the two previous Junior World Championships.
Add Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) who was the best junior in the world in 2018 to a loaded Women’s Skeet team ready to raise the flag some more on the world stage. Joining Jacob will be two-time Junior World Championship medalist Austen Smith (Keller, Texas) and she’ll be looking to add the most sought-after medal color of all this year after silver in 2017 and bronze in 2018. Jasmine Otis (Wasilla, Alaska) is the third junior athlete competing in the skeet machine that USA Shooting has comprised.
But before we can get to that starting Friday, July 5, the best international bunker competitors in the world will get things underway with 75 targets on Tuesday. Looking to continue his trap progression is U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) soldier-athlete Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) after finishing fifth at Worlds back in 2017, the highest finish in Trap since 2006 when Bret Erickson won bronze. Joining him on the men’s side is Brian Burrows (Fallbrook, California), who despite his longevity in the sport, has appeared in just one other World Championship, as a junior some 13 years ago in Zagreb, Croatia, when he finished 41st as a junior competitor. Caleb Lindsey (Spring Hill, Tennessee) will make his international debut after winning the National Championship in 2018.
The Last Frontier state (Alaska) is strongly represented on this year’s World Champs squad including Otis in Women’s Junior Skeet and a pair of Anchorage natives in Grayson Davey and Steven Brown. Brown will be competing in his first international contest as a member of Team USA while Davey is competing in his second consecutive World Championship after an 18th-place finish in Changwon in 2018. Joining them will be the Quitman, Arkansas product Roe Reynolds back at this level after competing for Team USA in 2017. Reynolds is primed for a good showing after winning the Junior National title recently and winning the Mixed Trap national title with Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee).
Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) headlines the Women’s Trap team and she’s already competing in her seventh World Championship as a 24-year-old. She’s earned three straight top-15 World Champs finishes, including making the Finals and placing sixth in 2017. She’s full of confidence following a bronze-medal finish at the most recent World Cup in Changwon, South Korea, which help earned Team USA the final quota needed in this event. Joining Carroll will be Kayle Browning (Wooster, Arkansas), competing in her fourth World Championship and following an 11th-place finish at the 2018 Worlds. USAMU soldier-athlete Rachel Tozier (Liberty, Missouri) rounds out the U.S. squad in Women’s Trap after finishing 17th in her first World Cup event in Changwon.
Garrison might hail from the Volunteer State but she is not voluntarily stepping back from anything in the quest for top junior supremacy in Women’s Trap. She finished runner-up at the Junior National Championships in June before going on to claim a second-straight Junior Olympic title and earning the title of Mixed Team champion with Reynolds. Garrison has been so successful in the event the past couple years, you sometimes forget that she’s still just 14. She was Junior National Champion at age 12 and was the youngest USA Shooting athlete ever to make a World Championship team when she competed in Changwon, South Korea in 2018, finishing 10th overall. Making their Team USA debuts in Junior Women’s Trap will be Faith Pendergrass (Valley Springs, California) and Nicole Manhave (Longview, Texas).
Carroll and Haldeman will combine forces in the Mixed Team event, where they’ve found success in the new Olympic event, including most recently with a second-place finish in Changwon and the bronze medal they earned together at the 2017 World Championship. Garrison and Reynolds will team up again in the Junior Mixed Team event for Trap hoping to duplicate the success they found recently in winning Nationals.
The Men’s Skeet Team will feature a pair of USAMU soldier-athletes in Christian Elliott (Greenville, Indiana) and Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas). Elliott is booming with confidence after picking up his first World Cup medal (silver) while sharing the podium with Vincent Hancock in Changwon recently. Jungman is no stranger to World Championship pressure, already competing in his sixth World Championship as a 24-year-old. He’s a two-time Junior World Championship medalist having earned silver at the same World Championship range he’ll compete on this time around back in 2015 as well as a bronze in 2014. Joining Elliott and Jungman will be Robert Kyle Johnson (Phoenix, Arizona).
The Junior Men’s Skeet squad is comprised of Junior Olympic champion and 2018 World team member Alex Ahlin (Bamburg, South Carolina), along with Junior Olympic bronze medalist Conner Prince (Burleson, Texas) and recent Junior and Junior Olympic Nationals finalist Ben Keller (Johnstown, Colorado), who will both be making their Team USA debuts.
*Please note that Lonato is six hours ahead of the Eastern Time Zone.
2019 USA Shooting Shotgun World Championship Roster
|Grayson Davey||Trap Men Junior|
|Steven Brown||Trap Men Junior|
|Roe Reynolds||Trap Men Junior|
|Derek Haldeman||Trap Men|
|Brian Burrows||Trap Men|
|Caleb Lindsey||Trap Men|
|Ashley Carroll||Trap Women|
|Kayle Browning||Trap Women|
|Rachel Tozier||Trap Women|
|Carey Garrison||Trap Women Junior|
|Faith Pendergrass||Trap Women Junior|
|Nicole Manhave||Trap Women Junior|
|Austen Smith||Skeet Women Junior|
|Katie Jacob||Skeet Women Junior|
|Jasmine Otis||Skeet Women Junior|
|Dania Vizzi||Skeet Women|
|Sam Simonton||Skeet Women|
|Kim Rhode||Skeet Women|
|Phillip Jungman||Skeet Men|
|Christian Elliott||Skeet Men|
|Robert Kyle Johnson||Skeet Men|
|Ben Keller||Skeet Men Junior|
|Alex Ahlin||Skeet Men Junior|
|Conner Prince||Skeet Men Junior|
|Ashley Carroll||Trap Mixed Team 1|
|Derek Haldeman||Trap Mixed Team 1|
|Rachel Tozier||Trap Mixed Team 2|
|Brian Burrows||Trap Mixed Team 2|
|Kim Rhode||Skeet Mixed Team 1|
|Christian Elliott||Skeet Mixed Team 1|
|Sam Simonton||Skeet Mixed Team 2|
|Phillip Jungman||Skeet Mixed Team 2|
|Carey Garrison||Trap Mixed Team Junior 1|
|Roe Reynolds||Trap Mixed Team Junior 1|
|Nicole Manhave||Trap Mixed Team Junior 2|
|Grayson Davey||Trap Mixed Team Junior 2|
|Austen Smith||Skeet Mixed Team Junior 1|
|Alex Ahlin||Skeet Mixed Team Junior 1|
|Katie Jacob||Skeet Mixed Team Junior 2|
|Conner Prince||Skeet Mixed Team Junior 2|
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