Bryan's Drozd Captures First Open Title at Spring Selection Match

By: USA Shooting
By: USA Shooting

FORT BENNING, Georgia -- Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.) doesn't just expect perfection, he demands it and on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon back out on his old stomping grounds he finally achieved it by connecting on 250-straight targets to win USA Shooting's Spring Selection Match.

Two previous times he had shot a 249, but until today, perfection had escaped him.

"A 250 is what I've been after for quite a long time," said Hancock. "To do that on my old home range is pretty special."

But even Hancock misses once in a while and so he did during the Men's Open Final, missing two targets but still waltzed to a seven-point margin of victory over rising junior T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas).

"I just wasn't all there for the final," admitted Hancock. "I couldn't get myself hyped up for it. Getting that 250 is what I was working so hard for and having accomplished it, there was just a natural let down. I just didn't have the same intensity level going into it."

All that really means is Hancock can set his eyes on a new goal and a 275 the next time wouldn't be out of the question.

"I feel like I'm as strong now as I've ever been," Hancock added. "I'm in the right spot. If you don't miss, you can't be beat."

Bayer has emerged on the scene the last two selection matches, finishing third last fall while compiling an even better performance in Ft. Benning. The junior shooter didn't blink in the wake of the strong talent shooting against him throughout the weekend, finishing four targets ahead of 2012 Olympian Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.). Like the Olympic Trials a year ago, Thompson used a perfect 25 final round to move up one position from qualifying and secure a spot on the 2013 World Championship Team. Thompson moved ahead of Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas). Jon Michael McGrath (Tulsa, Okla.) and Mark Weeks (Clinton Township, Mich.) finished fifth and sixth respectively.

All open finalists will be granted World Cup selection to the final two ISSF stops on the calendar with Granada, Spain, and Cyprus upcoming. Top-three finishers earned a trip to Granada, while the next three finishers will represent Team USA in Cyprus. The top three finishers also earned selection on the World Clay Target Championships Team that will take place Sept. 14-25 in Lima, Peru.

In the Men's Junior Final, Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas), lost in a shoot-out to Weeks for a spot in the open final only to come back and earn the title of top junior by out-dueling Nick Boerboon (Prior Lake, Minn.) by four targets. Luis "Taz" Gloria (Tucson, Ariz.) finished third while Zachary Womach (Bowie, Texas) was fourth.

The top-four finishers in the junior division will gain valuable international experience in the months to come with the top-two headed to Granada, while third and fourth-place finishers earn a trip to Cyprus. The top-three also earn a World Championship Junior Team selection.

Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas) earned her first major title in the open division by displaying the nerves of a steely veteran. A lackluster 21 in the final would put Drozd in a tie with veteran skeet shooter Haley Dunn (Muenster, Texas) and force a shoot-off for top prize. Drozd held her own through four sets of doubles on station four and would grab the win after Dunn missed one on the fifth pair.

Two other rising juniors -- Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pa.) and Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.) -- would finish third and fourth. Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colo.) rebounded from a final round 19 on Saturday to earn a fifth-place spot after a one-round shoot-off with 2012 National Champion Jaiden Grinnell (Port Angeles, Wash.).

Vizzi was at the head of the class in the junior competition after earning a 15-target win in the junior division. Vizzi scored a 50-straight in the open and junior division finals she shot. Gayla Gregory (College Station, Texas) was second.

Next up in the 2013 USA Shooting Spring Selection is action in Men's Double Trap featuring Olympians and U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit teammates Glenn Eller (Houston, Texas), Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.) and Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, Calif.). Eller earned an Olympic gold medal in this event in 2008 while Richmond is a 2010 World Champion and Holguin was a fourth-place finisher at the 2008 Olympic Games. Meanwhile, the stronghold these three have held on Double Trap over the years has some new additions with Billy Crawford (Johnstown, Ohio) and Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.). Crawford won the 2012 National Championships while Rupert earned a World Cup bronze medal earlier this year in Acapulco, Mexico. Competition begins Tuesday with Finals set for Wednesday.

For complete SKEET results of USA Shooting's Spring Selection, click here: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/2013_SG_SS/2013_SG_SS_Scores-SKEET.xls

World Cup Selection - Granada, Spain
Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.)
T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas)
Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.)
Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas)
Nick Boerboon (Prior Lake, Minn.)

Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas)
Haley Dunn (Muenster, Texas)
Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pa.)
Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.)
Gayla Gregory (College Station, Texas)

World Cup Selection - Cyprus
Dustin Perry (Lovelady, Texas)
Jon Michael McGrath (Tulsa, Okla.)
Mark Weeks (Clinton Township, Mich.)
Luis Gloria (Tucson, Ariz.)
Zach Womach (Bowie, Texas)

Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.)
Amber English (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Jaiden Grinnell (Port Angeles, Wash.)
Hannah Houston (Columbia, Tenn.)
Kendall Reed (Azle, Texas)

World Championship - Lima, Peru
Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Ga.)
T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas)
Frank Thompson (Alliance, Neb.)
Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas)
Nick Boerboon (Prior Lake, Minn.)
Luis Gloria (Tucson, Ariz.)

Brandy Drozd (Bryan, Texas)
Haley Dunn (Muenster, Texas)
Morgan Craft (Muncy Valley, Pa.)
Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Fla.)
Gayla Gregory (College Station, Texas)
Hannah Houston (Columbia, Tenn.)


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