Army shooters earn spots to compete in the Gabala World Cup

Army shooters earn spots to compete in the Gabala World Cup

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) – The U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit shooters from the International Team finished in top spots at the 2015 USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol on June 24 to July 1.

"Overall, Nationals went well for the team, said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker said, the International Team coach. "We had seven people, five rifles and two pistols, qualifying for the National Team, so I'm pretty happy with that."

Staff Sgt. George Norton captured the silver medal in his bid for the men's three-position championship, and Norton's second place finish earned him a spot on Team USA to compete at the Gabala World Cup.

"It's really exciting," Norton said. "During my shooting career I haven't fulfilled as many of the goals I would like, but now it's finally all starting to come together. I know without the Army I wouldn't be able to be as competitive as I am."

In the men's 50 meter championship, Sgt. 1 Class Michael McPhail and Eric Uptagrafft won second and third places, respectively. McPhail earned an Olympic quota for the United States with a gold medal finish at the ISSF USA World Cup in May, followed by a gold medal win in Munich, Germany.

McPhail and Uptagrafft will both head to the Gabala World Cup to represent the United States in men's prone rifle.

Sgt. Brad Balsley won the bronze medal in the rapid fire pistol championship, and he will also compete in the Gabala World Cup.

The last opportunity for American competitors to earn quota spots for the U. S. will be at the August International Sport Federation World Cup in Gabala, Azerbaijan.

The Gabala World Cup is also the next to last opportunity for shooting competitors to earn points to qualify for the Olympic Team.

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