HILLSDALE, MICHIGAN — Soldiers on the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Shotgun Team won three medals and several placements on three separate national trap teams during USA Shooting’s 2023 National Trap Championships May 23 - 28.
The Championships that included more than 130 of the top trap shooters from around the Nation, including some Olympians, required each athlete to complete 10 separate rounds of 25 targets.
The Fort Moore Soldiers, who are all marksmanship instructors/competitive shooters with the USAMU Shotgun Team, competed side by side in the Championships not only for medals, but also for critical team placements. Scores from the match helped USA Shooting select the athletes for the National Trap Team, the Pan American Trap Team and the World Championships Trap Team. In addition, Nationals Championship scores also served as Olympic Trials-Part 1 for the 2024 Games in Paris.
Competitions are stressful enough on their own, however, adding in the fact that this match served as part one of Olympic Trials made it even harder, said Sgt. Rachel Tozier, a Pattsonburg, Missouri native who competed in Women’s Trap.
“Nationals this year was a little tougher than normal simply because it was also Olympic Trials-Part 1. I think that added some serious pressure to everyone and contributed to lower than-expected scores.”
The Soldiers managed to pull in some solid enough scores to get results though.
In Men’s Trap, Staff Sgt. Seth Inman, a Lexington, Missouri native, claimed the Silver Medal with a total aggregate score of 233 points, behind civilian athlete, 2020 Olympian Derrick Mein. USAMU Teammate, Spc. Lucas Logan, a Pacific, Missouri native, followed with the Bronze Medal.
In Women’s Trap, Tozier earned the Silver Medal behind civilian athlete, Ashley Carroll, with her total aggregate score of 223.
Along with the three medals, USAMU Soldiers earned seven spots on the U.S. National Trap Team due to their solid performances at this match. The USAMU Soldiers selected for this team were: Inman, Tozier, Sgt. Alicia Gough, Spc. Grayson Davey, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Eller and Staff Sergeant’s Will Hinton and Derek Haldeman.
Scores from Nationals were then added to previous matches earlier in the year to select the Pan American and World Championship Trap Teams. Hinton, Tozier and Gough were selected to represent the United States at the 2023 Pan American Games that will be in Santiago, Chile in October 20 - November 5.
Then Hinton, Haldeman, Tozier and Gough were selected to represent America at the International Shooting Sports Federation World Championships is in Baku, Azerbaijan August 14 - September 1.
Earning spots on three teams was a relief for Tozier and she knows that the upcoming matches have a critical mission—to earn an Olympic Quota in Women’s Trap.
“I’m grateful to have made another National, Pan Am, and World Championship team. It’s important for us to gain our final Olympic Quota at one of those matches, and I’m glad I’ll be getting a chance to compete for one.”
Though Nationals proved to be a little bit of a fight in terms of results, Gough said it was exciting to make the teams.
“It was definitely a great feeling to know I made the next series of teams. I am so thankful to represent the USAMU and the USA in these matches — this is my first time making the World Championship and Pan American Teams!”
And outside the excitement of that fact, Nationals helped the Burlington, Wisconsin native determine what to tweak in her upcoming training plan.
“There are a few things I’ll really focus on in training before these next big matches and the second half of Olympic Trials.”
Team Chief and 2008 Olympian, Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Holguin, said he could not be prouder of how the Soldiers performed.
“Second through fifth place at this match in Men’s Trap, and five out of six National Team members are USAMU Soldiers! And our Women’s Trap Soldiers finishing first and second in the World Championship selection with over 500 targets at two selection matches…now that was fun to watch!”
(Photos by USA Shooting's Brittany Nelson)