The Olympics are coming! The Summer Olympic Games will take place in Rio De Janeiro in August next year, and we’ll have a strong team of shooters there to compete in the shooting sports.
USA Shooting has named its Athletes of the Year. Shotgun stars Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia) and Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, California) are the top athletes of 2015.
Olympians Michael McPhail and Keith Sanderson, as well as Paralympic hopeful Mike Tagliapietra, have been named USA Shooting’s Athletes of the Year in their respective disciplines.
USA Shooting Athletes of the Year
Vincent Hancock’s won two World Cups in Skeet in 2015. He also took a silver medal at the World Cup Finals, won second at Nationals, a third World Championship crown, and an Olympic Team nomination. He hit all 157 targets he faced in the first World Cup in Acapulco.
Morgan Craft faced many shooting stars in 2015, including five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode, but was victorious. She had two World Cup podium finishes, winning silver and bronze, and beat her American teammate Caitlin Connor to win the World Championship and ensure a place at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Rifle Athlete of the Year
USA Shooting says that being the No.1-ranked Prone Rifle shooter in the world in 2015 led Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wisconsin) to being named USA Shooting Rifle Athlete of the Year. They note that this U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit’s soldier-athlete won two World Cups and a World Cup Finals win on his way to earning a 2016 Olympic Team nomination.
Pistol Athlete of the Year
Olympian Keith Sanderson (Colorado Springs, Colorado) was named USA Shooting’s Pistol Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year. Sanderson is a Rapid Fire Pistol shooter who serves as part of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program. They say that Sanderson “has continued to prove why he is America’s best hope for an Olympic medal in pistol.” Sanderson earned the seventh World Cup medal of his career with a silver-medal performance in Munich, Germany, and also had two other appearances in World Cup finals in 2015.
Paralympic Athlete of the Year
Mike Tagliapietra was named USA Shooting’s Paralympic Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year.
This pistol shooter from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, has emerged as the face of the Paralympic program by demonstrating the most consistent results since the 2012 Paralympic Games. The highlight of his season was winning the World Cup gold medal in sport pistol in Sydney, Australia.