After the thrilling conclusion to the USA Shooting Smallbore Rifle Trials Part 2, the four remaining spots on the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team have been awarded. Mary Tucker, Sagen Maddalena, Patrick Sunderman and Nick Mowrer will head to Japan this summer. Following a delay last year because of the pandemic, the Smallbore Trials wrapped up Wednesday, May 26 at Ft. Benning, Ga., home of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit.
Firing line at the USA Shooting Smallbore Olympic Trials Part 2. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit)
To determine the Tokyo Olympic team roster, scores from this event were combined with those earned in the fall of 2019 at Part 1 of the Smallbore Rifle Trials.
While the U.S. qualified for the maximum of 21 quota slots (eight shotgun, eight rifle and five pistol), Team USA will send 19 shooters to Japan because Mary Tucker and Nick Mowrer previously qualified in other disciplines—air rifle for Tucker and Mowrer in air pistol.
With a combined score of 4706, Mary Tucker (Sarasota, Fla.) secured another slot on the Olympic team. Earlier this year, the 19-year-old Tucker helped lead the University of Kentucky to victory at the NCAA rifle championships, becaming only the sixth shooter in NCAA history to win both the air rifle and smallbore disciplines at the event.
Sagen Maddalena (Groveland, Calif.) won the women's championship after going into the final with the lead. During the final, the 27-year-old avoided elimination after a big 10.9 shot put her in the lead with one shot to go. Maddalena's combined score of 4704 garnered her the other women's smallbore spot on the team.
Men's competition at the USA Shooting Smallbore Olympic Trials Part 2. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit)
At the conclusion of day one, 26-year-old Patrick Sunderman (Farmington, Minn.) was the overall leader on the men’s side with a total score of 3527. He would go on to win the men's event with a combined score of 4706. A former West Virginia University rifle standout, Sunderman has been with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit since 2016.
Nick Mowrer (Butte, Mont.) entered the final day of the match in fourth place with a score of 3513. After completing the men's final in second place, his combined score of 4698 gave him the final quota slot. The 32-year-old Mowrer previously competed at the London 2012 Olympics. Notably, he is the first U.S. athlete to qualify for the Olympic team in both rifle and pistol.
All four shooters will join the rest of the U.S. Olympic Shooting Team in Tokyo at the Summer Olympics, which is currently slated for July 23–August 8.
Additionally, after reaching Part 2 of the Smallbore Trials in the lead, Ginny Thrasher, the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medalist, ended with a combined score of 4684, placing her third in the women's leaderboard. Thrasher, another former member of the West Virginia University rifle team, will be a non-traveling Olympic alternate.
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