TUCSON, Arizona (July 18, 2018) – The USA Shooting Team opened the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Tucson, Arizona the same way it closed it today in the Trap Mixed Team event – with two World Cup medals.
Winning gold today in the newly-minted Olympic event was two-time Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) and Jake Wallace (Castaic, California). Winning the bronze was the Kayle Browning (Wooster, Arkansas) and Will Hinton (U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit/Dacula, Georgia).
“We battled all day long,” Cogdell-Unrein said. “The scores were all over the place and we had to focus to battle throughout the day. This is a difficult range, so it was good to shoot in the individual match, which gave me the opportunity to find my hold points, figure out how I wanted to attack this team event and make a game plan.”
The team of Cogdell-Unrein/Wallace was near the front of the 24-team pack most of the day, opening the first round of three with 46/50 hits. They finished Qualification in second place overall with 132/150 hits. Once in the Final, Cogdell-Unrein/Wallace once again floated around the top of the pack throughout the first half, only dropping a combined three targets in the first 25. Even though the French team of Melanie Couzy/Sebastien Guerrero and Browning/Hinton were closing in on the final series of five, on Wallace’s final shot of the match, he pumped his fist as he walked to his last station, knowing he had put the gold medal out of reach of the other teams.
“Finishing one target out of the Men’s Trap Final was kind of a letdown, but it drove me to shoot hard today and keep in it the entire time” Wallace said. “This is the second World Cup where I’ve made a Final in the team event and the format has changed each time so it was kind of strange, but we carried the momentum we had from the team event in Colorado to qualify for this event and just went with that game plan. Corey is a strong starter and I’m a strong finisher, so we decided to go with that.”
The Finals format saw each member of the team alternating shooting every five shots for a total of 50 targets. Cogdell-Unrein/Wallace finished the Final one target ahead of the French team with 43/50 hits.
“With the way today started, I was just happy to come away with a medal!” said Browning. On her first series of 25, Browning only hit 17/25 targets. But over the successive three rounds, she and Hinton eventually tied Cogdell-Unrein/Wallace with 132/150 hits to advance to the Final.
“At the selection match in Colorado, we were both shooting equally, but at this match, he was pulling the team, so I was like ‘You’re getting and extra five targets!’ It’s all you,” Browning said. “Our team dynamic is based on confidence. When I’m down, he’s picking me up and when he’s down, I’m picking him up.”
“That’s the best thing about this whole team thing,” Hinton said. “I had a whole round where I was missing all the rights. Fortunately, we had a shootoff for bib number and she was ‘What do you want, lefts or rights?’ and I knew she should take rights and I would take lefts. If one of us shoots badly, the other can shoot well and offset it – it’s a team thing.”
The pair of Browning/Hinton was a newly-formed team for the World Championship selection match in Colorado Springs, Colorado and they won that match 15-points ahead of Cogdell-Unrein/Wallace. Today’s match marked Hinton’s ISSF World Cup debut and first World Cup medal.
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Both U.S. teams will also be the teams that will represent the United States at the next event on the ISSF calendar, the ISSF World Championship in Changwon, South Korea next month.
Today was the final day of the World Cup for Shotgun in Tucson with the United States finishing atop the medal count with four medals. Kim Rhode (El Monte, California) and Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana) also won gold and silver in the Women’s Skeet event last week.
More than 200 athletes from 41 countries participated in this World Cup.
Get the complete results from the ISSF World Cup here: www.issf-sports.org/