Soldier, sailor shooters stamp tickets to London Olympics

Eric and Sandra Uptagrafft

The couple that shoots together stays together: Olympians Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric and Navy Reserve Information Systems Technician Sandra Uptagrafft. (USA Shooting photo)

The London Olympics are officially a family affair for Team USA shooting.

Navy reservist Sandra Uptagrafft took top honors in the 25-meter pistol qualifier at Fort Benning, Ga., on Tuesday, earning the only U.S. Olympic spot available in that event — but not the only one in the Uptagrafft household. Her husband, Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Uptagrafft, will shoot in the 50-meter prone rifle event.

This will be the first Olympics for Sandra Uptagrafft, an information systems technician first class, according to a USA Shooting release outlining the results from Benning; her husband made the 1996 games but hasn’t been back since.

In addition to learning his wife would make the trip to London, Eric Uptagrafft also found out who would join him in representing the U.S. in the 50-meter prone event — Army Staff Sgt. Michael McPhail defeated two-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons to take the second qualification spot. McPhail, a member of the Army Marksmanship Unit, credited Eric Uptagrafft’s assistance and the AMU’s support with helping him reach his Olympic dream.

Shooting events in London begin July 28 and run through Aug. 6. The Uptagraffts’ anniversary is Aug. 5, according to the USA Shooting release. Qualifying at Benning continues through the week, with four Olympic spots still at stake.


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