Team USA shooting qualifications wrapped up Monday at Fort Benning, Ga., and the final qualifier wasn’t a surprise given the setting.
Army Sgt. 1st Class Jason Parker, a member of the Benning-based Army Marksmanship Unit, qualified for his fourth Olympic team by taking top honors in the 50-meter three-position rifle event. He’ll join fellow Army Sgt. 1st Class Keith Sanderson, who earned a spot Friday in the 25-meter rapid-fire pistol event, on the now-complete, military-heavy U.S. shooting squad. Check out these posts for more about U.S. shooters, or click here for the full team’s bios on the USA Shooting website.
Sanderson, a member of the Army’s World Class Athlete Program who took fifth in Beijing in the pistol, finished qualifying with a 1,781-point total and a 591-point match score that tied a world record. That was enough to top Emil Milev, whose score of 1,768 gave him second place and and the final ticket to London in the event. AMU shooters Sgt. Brad Balsley, Spc. Sean Ragay and Spc. Seth Berglee took third, fourth and sixth, acccording to the USA Shooting results release.
Parker took an early lead in the final rifle event and didn’t give it up, finishing with 3,124.1 points. The 2011 national champion (and 2009, and 2007 … look, it’s a long list — click here for the details) defeated fellow soldiers Spc. Joseph Hall (second place, 3,109 points), Sgt. Joseph Hein and Sgt. George Norton, all AMU shooters.
Look for more on Olympic soldier- (and sailor-) shooters in the coming weeks as Team USA preps for London.