KERRVILLE, Texas (Army News Service, Sept. 14, 2006) - Three Soldiers of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit of Fort Benning, Ga., are halfway to the 2007 Pan-American Games.<br/><br/>At the USA Shooting Fall Selection Match Sept. 6-13, USAMU shotgun shooter Sgt. 1st Class Shawn C. Dulohery won the Men's Open Skeet Match. Spc. Joshua M. Richmond dominated in the Men's Open Double Trap Match, and Sgt. 1st Class Theresa E. DeWitt took the Women's Trap Match. The Soldiers are currently in first place in the U.S. Team Selection process for the 2007 World Clay Target Championships and Pan-American Games.<br/><br/>The Pan-American Games will be conducted in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13-29. The Games include an Olympic-style shooting championship for the Western Hemisphere, which is conducted every four years. Not only can shooters win medals and set world records at the Pan-American Games, but the Pan-Am Games is the last chance for shooters from the Western Hemisphere to win quota slots for their countries to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.<br/><br/>In the men's skeet competition, Dulohery, a 2004 Olympian, took home the crown after shooting a 263 total score including a 25-point final round. Following close in second place, Randal McLelland also shot 25 in the finals. He was leading the event on day one of competition, beating Dulohery by two points, but on day two Dulohery made up the difference by three.<br/><br/>Finishing in third was junior phenomenon and 2006 International Shooting Sport Federation Athlete of the Year Army Reserve Pvt. Vincent Hancock, whose total score of 261 tied McLelland and led to the events' first shoot-off. McLelland finished just two points ahead Hancock to bring home the Silver.<br/><br/>Three-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode shot a 252 for the win, while double Olympian Connie Smotek and long-time National Team veteran Haley Dunn shot 248 each in the Women's Skeet Match. Smotek and Dunn forced the second shoot-off of the competition, leaving Smotek ahead with 252 and Dunn in third with 251.<br/><br/>Double trap events were led by Richmond, a National Team newcomer, who posted a 332 to finish ahead of Jeff Holguin, a six-year member of the U.S. National Team, who shot a 326; Holguin, who recently enlisted in the Army to join the USAMU, starts Basic Training here Sept. 20. Following in third was two-time Olympic veteran Glenn Eller, whose score totaled 319, just one point ahead of the fourth place finisher; Eller, who also recently enlisted for the USAMU, starts Basic Training Sept. 19.<br/><br/>Three-time Olympian retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Bret E. Erickson captured the Men's Trap title. Holding a tight advantage after day one, Erikson's lead slipped by only one point in day two when Olympic medalist Lance Bade and Air Force Reserve Maj. Dominic Grazioli bested his shots. His lead was not completely diminished, allowing him to pull off a shoot of 23 in the finals to win the title. Bade and Grazioli were thrust into a shoot-off with Bade coming out in second, leaving Grazioli with the third-place finish.<br/><br/>Cynthia Meyer dominated the field in day one of the Women's Trap competition. Shooting a 96, she led 1996 Olympian DeWitt, Corey Cogdell and Mimi Wilfong, who were tied for second with 91. By the finals, it was DeWitt in the winners circle, followed by USAMU's Sgt. 1st Class Joetta R. Dement and newcomer Cogdell. The third place finish for Cogdell secured her a position on the Women's Trap National Team for 2007.

Page last updated Tue September 19th, 2006 at 08:21