USA Shooting is pleased to announce that pistol shooter Keith Sanderson (San Antonio, Texas) and shotgun shooter Kim Rhode (El Monte, Calif.) have been selected as the 2009 USAS Athletes of the Year.
These athletes were chosen based on the USAS Athlete of the Year Nomination and Selection Procedure, which is a points system that rewards performance in major competitions.
Sanderson, a 2008 Olympian, earned the Male Athlete of the Year honor after an outstanding World Cup season in 2009, winning an unprecedented three medals on the ISSF World Cup circuit. Sanderson captured the gold at the Beijing World Cup, silver in Changwon, Korea and bronze at the World Cup Munich in the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event. Sanderson also grabbed fifth place at the Milan World Cup. In addition, Sanderson finished in third place at the 2009 Rifle/Pistol Fall Selection Match at Fort Benning, Ga.
For the third consecutive year, four-time Olympian Rhode was selected as the USA Shooting Female Athlete of the Year. A four-time Olympic medalist, Rhode shot her way to two World Cup medals this year, claiming the silver in San Marino and the bronze in Munich in the Women’s Skeet event. Rhode was also the 2009 National Champion and finished in first place at the 2009 Shotgun Fall Selection Match, earning a spot on the 2010 World Shooting Championship team. Rhode also finished seventh at the 2009 Shotgun World Championships.
Sanderson and Rhode were selected as the overall USAS Athletes of the Year, but USAS also recognizes the Discipline Athletes of the Year, who earned the highest number of points in each discipline.
U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) member Michael McPhail (Darlington, Wis.) was the top male athlete for rifle, while Jamie Beyerle (Lebanon, Pa.) won the honor for women’s rifle for the fourth year in a row, and USAMU member Josh Richmond (Hillsgrove, Pa.) had the highest number of points for men’s shotgun. Sanderson is also the Male Athlete of the Year for pistol and Rhode is the Female the Athlete of the Year for the shotgun discipline. A female pistol shooter was not chosen this year as there were no female pistol shooters who met the minimum point requirement.
McPhail had an excellent year in the Men’s 50m Prone Rifle event, capturing two bronze medals on the World Cup circuit, as well as the silver medal at the World Cup Final. McPhail also finished in fifth place at the World Cup Changwon and was the 2009 National Champion in Men’s Prone.
Beyerle, a 2008 Olympian, won the 2009 World Cup Final bronze medal in Women’s 50m 3 Position Rifle. She finished fourth at the World Cup in Milan and was the 2009 National Champion. She also claimed second place at the Rifle/Pistol Fall Selection Match.
Richmond captured the gold medal in the Men’s Double Trap event at the 2009 World Cup in Munich, Germany. He took home the bronze at the San Marino World Cup and finished fifth at the World Cup in Minsk. Richmond was also the 2009 National Champion and finished fourth at the Shotgun World Championships. Most recently, Richmond won the 2009 Shotgun Fall Selection Match, claiming a spot on the 2010 World Shooting Championship team.
The overall athletes of the year will be submitted to the U.S. Olympic Committee for consideration for the 2009 USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards, which have been presented annually since 1974 to the top overall male and female athletes within the U.S. Olympic Family.
For more information on these athletes, please visit www.usashooting.org.
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