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Top 10 Competitive Shooting Stories of 2016

Top 10 Competitive Shooting Stories of 2016

Here are the top 10 stories from the competitive shooting world this year, as compiled by the Shooting Sports USA editorial staff.

10) A Competitor's Perspective: Electronic Targets Vs. Paper

The debate continued on the value of e-targets in 2016. The CMP even added them to the Petrarca Range at Camp Perry this past July. SSUSA's former Editorial Assistant Kristen Voss (who is now an Assistant Editor for American Rifleman) chronicled her experiences with e-targets in college as a competitive shooter and how she came to love them in her article, "A Competitor's Perspective: Electronic Targets Vs. Paper". Although the debate is sure to continue in 2017 for some disciplines, intercollegiate competition, the Olympics and other international sports all use e-targets as the standard.

9) The Johns Hopkins University Marksmanship Club

In March, SSUSA Managing Editor John Parker was at Ft. Benning, GA, covering the 2016 NRA Intercollegiate Rifle Championship when he met two young enterprising student-athletes from Johns Hopkins University. The two ladies, Lauren Aldoroty and Anna Carter, proceeded to tell him the story of how they started the school's first marksmanship club in decades. In 2017, the JHU Marksmanship Club is slated to be rolled into the university’s athletic department as a full-fledged sports club.

8) Format Changes for the 2016 Bianchi Cup

The 2016 Bianchi Cup had a format change that made the final much different than in years past. The NRA implemented the new Colt Championship Final, eliminating the multi-gun aggregate match and the Colt speed event. All competitors shot once through the four Bianchi Cup Events, and then the top 16 and four each from the different divisions shot an additional time through the four Bianchi Events. The scores were added together to determine the champions.

7) Julie Golob: Competitive Shooting in the Instagram Generation

In a social media landscape that inundates competitors looking for daily news and information, champion competitive shooter Julie Golob sets the standard in utilizing the medium for one simple task: Sharing her love of competitive shooting to friends and followers alike. In a wide-reaching interview with SSUSA, Julie shared her opinions on the current state of social media in competitive shooting, as well as tips for prospective future shooters on how to use social media to their advantage.

6) Philip Hemphill Wins 2016 NRA National Pistol Championship

Philip Hemphill of Brandon, MS, won the 2016 NRA National Pistol Championship with a score of 2598-107X. No stranger to the winner's podium, Hemphill won his first NRA National Pistol Championship at Camp Perry in 2011. He is also a 10-time NRA National Police Champion. After finishing a windy week of precision pistol shooting at Camp Perry, Hemphill additionally won the Police and Senior Championships.

5) Over 10,000 Students Participating in 2016 Minnesota State High School Clay Target League

The Minnesota State High School Clay Target League is very popular in Minnesota—it’s one of the most popular activities in the state with over 10,000 students participating. Additionally, the League's Trapshooting Championship is the world's largest shooting event, taking place over eight days (expanded to nine this year) and hosting nearly 7,000 individual high school competitors.

4) U.S. Women earn most shooting medals at the Olympics since 1984

The U.S. Olympic Shooting Team left Rio this summer having secured three prized possessions—a sport-defining Ginny Thrasher gold medal in Women’s Air Riflerepeat bronze medal for Corey Cogdell-Unrein in Women’s Trap and a most-historic bronze medal for Kim Rhode in Women’s Skeet. In the 16 Olympic Games since 1924, the U.S. has only won more than three medals in shooting five times. For Rhode, this marked her sixth medal in total for her Olympic career thus far. 

3) Doug Koenig wins the Bianchi Cup for the 17th time

This past May at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club in Columbia, MO, Doug Koenig won the overall aggregate for the 17th time at the Bianchi Cup Action Pistol Championship. Koenig won his first Bianchi Cup in 1990, and was the first to ever finish the match with a perfect score. Since then, he has achieved a perfect score in all but one year at the world’s most prestigious action pistol championship.

2) The New Gold Standard: Ginny Thrasher

Ginny Thrasher, a 19-year-old West Virginia University sophomore shocked the shooting world in August, when she won the women’s 10-meter air rifle competition during the Rio Olympics—winning the first gold medal at this year's Games. Earlier this year, Thrasher and her WVU rifle teammates won a fourth consecutive NCAA rifle championship. Thrasher is the only true freshman in history to sweep both NCAA individual air and smallbore rifle titles.

1) NRA Moving National High Power Rifle Championships from Camp Perry

Shocking the high power rifle shooting community, in November the NRA announced they will move the National High Power Rifle Championships from Camp Perry, OH, to Camp Atterbury, IN. This change in venue, which will take effect during the 2017 National Matches (pending approval by the NRA Board of Directors in January 2017)—made for a lively debate from competitive shooters, both for and against the proposed move.

Did we miss something? Email us at shootingsportsusa@nrahq.org and let us know!

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