Olympians Lead at 2020 CMP Dixie Double Air Gun Event

ANNISTON, Ala. – The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) held its annual Dixie Double event for an enthusiastic group of air rifle and air pistol competitors at its South Competition Center in Alabama over the weekend of Nov. 6, 2020. Nearly 200 junior and adult athletes from around the country took the firing line to compete in one of the most anticipated events of the year – welcomed by yearning competitors even more so in 2020, which has seen a steady stream of cancelled air gun events.

The Dixie Double includes two days of 60 Shot international air rifle and air pistol matches for Open and Junior athletes, with qualifications and finals fired each day. Overall competitors are awarded at the conclusion of Day 1 and Day 2 as well as from the combined, two-day aggregate scores.

Olympians Sgt. Nick Mowrer (center), James Hall (left) and Alexis Lagan (right) earned top spots at the event.

Featuring an Army Marksmanship Unit-led Q&A session and shoulder-to-shoulder competition with national-level athletes and Olympians, the Dixie Double serves as a learning opportunity for upcoming marksmen and a worthwhile challenge for those more experienced.

Sgt. Nickolaus Mowrer, 32, of the U.S. Army Reserves, led the air pistol competition with a commanding score of 1180-43x. Last year’s Dixie Double winner, James Hall, 37, of Columbia, Missouri, trailed behind Mowrer in second position, with a score of 1165-30x, followed by Alexis Lagan, 27, an Olympic Training Center athlete, with a score of 1153-33x for third.

AMU members Spc. Sagen Maddalena (center), 1 st Lt. Sarah Beard (right) and Spc. Alison Weisz (left) earned the first three places in the air rifle match.

Mowrer, Hall and Lagan, all USA Shooting National Team members, used the Dixie Double event to keep their competition skills sharp as they await the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games – each earning spots on Team USA in 2020.

Hunter Battig, 18, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, claimed the win in the junior air pistol match with a score of 1128-25x.

Spc. Sagen Maddalena, 27, of the AMU, posted an aggregate two-day score of 1265-112x in the open air rifle competition to earn first place over teammate 1st Lt. Sarah Beard, 29, who ended with 1260-104x. Fellow AMU member SPC Alison Weisz, 25, earned the third place spot with a score of 1256-102x.

Junior winners received additional prizes from the CMP for their outstanding performances.

Like the pistol athletes, Maddalena, Beard and Weisz are all members of the USA Shooting National Rifle Team.

Sgt. Kevin Nguyen, 28, of the AMU and the USA Shooting Paralympic National Team, also competed over the weekend at the Dixie Double, ending the event with a score of 1223-104x.

In junior air rifle competition, Natalie Perrin, 17, of Coopersville, Michigan, stayed consistent to tally a two-day combined score of 1257-99x – leading her peers overall. Katie Zaun, 17, of Buffalo, North Dakota, fired a score of 1255-104x for second, as Adrienne Hanson, 15, of Millwood, Georgia, earned third with 1248-90x.

Katie Zaun and Spc. Brandon Muske led the air rifle team competition.

A two-person team event, pairing a Junior athlete with an Open athlete, was also held concurrently with the 60 Shot competitions.

Leading the air rifle team match by just one point was “Kake,” teammates Katie Zaun and SPC Brandon Muske of the AMU – earning a combined score of 2490-198. In air pistol, team “Grip It & Rip It,” James Hall and Hunter Battig, joined forces to accrue 2279-55x to come out on top, 20 points over the second-place team.

All employees, athletes, coaches and guests adhered to local Covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety of everyone at the event.

Hunter Battig and James Hall earned the first place in the air pistol team match.

For a complete list of results of the 2020 Dixie Double, visit the CMP Competition Tracker page at https://ct.thecmp.org/2020DDresults.

Photos are available for free download from the CMP Zenfolio page: https://cmp1.zenfolio.com/p555722800.

— Ashley Brugnone, CMP Staff Writer

The Civilian Marksmanship Program is a federally chartered 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. It is dedicated to firearm safety and marksmanship training and to the promotion of marksmanship competition for citizens of the United States. For more information about the CMP and its programs, log onto www.TheCMP.org.