Winning In Benning the Goal for Rifle/Pistol National Championship Participants

(COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – June 20, 2019) – America’s top rifle and pistol athletes have made their annual pilgrimage to U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s (USAMU) Home of Champions and Fort Benning, Georgia for the 2019 USA Shooting Rifle/Pistol National Championships. Competition begins Saturday with action in Women’s Air Rifle, Men’s Three-Position Rifle, non-Olympic pistol events as well as Paralympic rifle and pistol matches.

Most event disciplines will include two days of Qualification matches followed by an event Final.

Athletes are vying for spots to compete in the upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Brazil as well as the Para Pan American Games and the upcoming World Shooting Para Sport (WSPS) World Championships. Additionally, athletes will use Nationals as the prep and test needed ahead of the upcoming Junior World Cup as well as the Pan American Games.

Shooting sport athletes will compete at the Para Pan American Games, August 23-September 1, for the first time with a total of 15 athletes trying to earn their way on to that team.  Nationals is serving as the conclusion of their selection that included any WSPS or USA Shooting matches since January.  Athletes are required to achieve two Minimum Qualifying Scores (MQS) in their event to be eligible to compete and Team selection is based on an average of an athlete’s three best scores over the given timeframe.  PARA PAN AM SELECTION PROCEDURES

Additionally, this is the first match that is part of the 2020 U.S. Paralympic Team process, which runs from June 21, 2019 thru June 30, 2020. Athletes hoping to compete in Tokyo will be seeking similar MQS scores over the next year, and Team selection will be based on an average of an athlete’s four best scores over the given timeframe. PARALYMPIC TEAM SELECTION PROCEDURES

Look for athletes like 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist McKenna Dahl (Arlington, Washington), Taylor Farmer (Castalia, Ohio), Stetson Bardfield (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and the USAMU’s own John Joss (Corsicana, Texas) and Kevin Nguyen (Westminster, California) to really start to establish themselves in their respective rifle disciplines.  Similarly, look for established pistol veterans like Marco De La Rosa (San Antonio, Texas), Tricia Downing (Denver, Colorado), Mike Tagliapietra (Fond du lac, Wisconsin) and Shaun Tichenor (USAMU/Brainerd, Minnesota) to shine as well.

In the Olympic disciplines, returning champions in Rifle will include Olympic champion Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia), Sarah Beard (Danville, Indiana) and Dempster Christenson (Sioux Falls, South Dakota). Look also for the USAMU’s Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin) and Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colorado) to build upon their strong seasons as well as Ali Weisz (Belgrade, Montana). Pay attention to a rising group of juniors as well that includes Mary Tucker (Sarasota, Florida), Katie Zaun (Buffalo, North Dakota) and Matt Sanchez (Tampa, Florida) along with defending junior champions Angeline Henry (Fort Worth, Texas) and Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado). 

Returning champions in Pistol include Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama), Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nevada) Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) and Nick Mowrer (Butte, Montana), who will factor into the Three-Position Rifle standings as well.  Henry and Jackson Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia), Katelyn Abeln (Douglasville, Georgia) and Sarah Choe (Los Angeles, California) will all factor into the open and junior action as well.    


ELEY is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Teams: ELEY Limited, manufacturer of the world’s most consistently accurate rimfire ammunition, has been the Official Sponsor and Official Supplier of .22 rimfire ammunition of the USA Shooting rifle and pistol teams since 2000. For more information on ELEY and their products, please visit

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