Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

June 2, 2014

Simpson leads U.S. team to seven medals in Germany

MOULTRIE — A team silver medal by the Men’s Skeet Team wrapped an exciting week of competition for the USA Shooting Team at the inaugural International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior Cup, bolstered by the strength of its shotgun squad.

In 2013, the ISSF announced the inauguration of ISSF Junior Cups, a new Championship series featuring competitions for junior athletes in Olympic and Youth Olympic events.

Open to all junior competitors age 20 or younger during the competition year, the first all-discipline event (rifle, pistol and shotgun) held last week in Suhl, Germany, featured 25 American athletes and four coaches.  

The shotgun team was led by 2013 USA Shooting Coach of the Year Mike Simpson of the South Georgia Youth Shooting Club.

Assistant National Team Pistol coach In Kim led the pistol squad while 1992 Olympic gold medalist and Air Force head coach Launi Meili oversaw the rifle team.

The double-barreled target busters for the USA Shooting Team earned seven medals overall including three gold, two silver and two bronze as well as 11 top-seven performances.

Italy once again showed its prowess in the discipline earning a match-high 12 medals while Russia earned seven medals as well.

Phillip Jungman of Caldwell, Texas led the way for the men’s skeet team Saturday, finishing just outside podium position with a fourth-place finish. 

Jungman was beset by a pair of Italians in pursuit of a medal, falling in a shoot-off, 4-3, to Gabriele Rossetti to compete for gold.

He then squared off against Christian Benet but wasn’t able to secure another medal for Team USA following Benet’s perfect round of 16 in the bronze-medal final.

Jungman’s qualifying score of 121 tied him at the top with two other competitors and would help lead his team that included Christian Elliott of Greenwood, Ind., and Luis “Taz” Gloria of Tucson, Ariz., to a silver medal.

Individual medal winners for USA Shooting included gold medalists Ian Rupert of Muncy, Penn., in double trap and  Sydney Carson of North Liberty, Ind., in Skeet as well as bronze medalist Amber Culwell of Rose Bud, Ark., in trap. Other team medals included women’s skeet (gold), double trap (silver) and women’s trap (bronze).

The 15 members of the U.S. Shotgun Team who competed in Suhl will now get ready to compete again for their country this September at the 2014 World Shooting Championships in Granada, Spain.

Also coming up are the National Junior Olympics, to be held July 7-12, and the USA Shooting National Championships for Shotgun on August 2-10.

Two of Simpson’s South Georgia Youth Shooting Club’s athletes — Ryne Barfield and Katlyn Lawson — are members of the U.S. Shotgun Team and will head to Spain in September.

Shotgun success has been a reoccurring theme to start 2014 for the USA Shooting Team with six World Cup medals through two events to add to the impressive total hauled in by junior team members in Suhl.

Meanwhile, in the pistol and rifle events, Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) added to the U.S. success in Suhl with a sixth-place finish in the men’s three-position rifle event.  Sherry qualified third with a score of 1166. Alex Chichkov (Temple Terrace, Fla.) shot well in the 25m Standard Pistol event, finishing fourth, while pistol shooter Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.) finished 10th in the women’s air event.

Junior team members in rifle and pistol competing at the World Championships will be determined following competition at the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle/Pistol (June 24-29).

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