WON Landing Page March 2022

Beaman In Front at Halfway Point of 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials

The Road to Rio for the USA Shooting Team isn’t an easy path, but at the halfway point, it is Janessa Beaman who will take the lead into the final stage of Women’s Trap.  The 24-year-old assured as much after topping the leaderboard during part one of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials of Shotgun taking place in Tucson, Arizona.

In the battle for one Olympic Team spot, Beaman (Colorado Springs, Colorado) emerged as the front-runner following a four day grueling test that included 250 qualifying targets and two finals. Beaman shot three targets better in qualifying over two-time Olympian and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Corey Cogdell-Unrein (Eagle River, Alaska) and then beat her in Monday’s final and will take a two-point lead into part two of the Olympic Team Trials that will be contested next May in Tillar, Arkansas featuring the exact same format.  Like most competitors that fought with the high desert winds to begin the match, Beaman was eight points better on her last two qualifying rounds.


(USA Shooting photo)

Despite great international performances in 2014 in which she won two World Cup medals, Beaman didn’t make the World Cup travel squad in 2015. She knows that even despite her great start to qualifying for Rio, there’s still a lot of work left to do and a lot of quality competition before her.

“I am super excited that I won this match,” said Beaman, who earned an invite to World Cup Cyprus in 2016 by virtue of her win in Tucson. “But keeping it in perspective, I realize we are only halfway through the selection procedure and still have a lot of shooting to go.  I have managed to put myself in excellent position and hope to continue shooting well, but also know my teammates are quite capable of shooting great and any one of us would be a great representative for the United States in the Olympics.  I feel what helped me win this match was not looking at the finish line or thinking about what is at stake, but just concentrating on taking it one target at a time and maintaining positive thoughts throughout the match, regardless of the outcome.”

Cogdell-Unrein had done enough during the international portion of her season to earn an Olympic spot outright given her performances, but the U.S. was unable to secure a second quota in the event, thus forcing her to battle it out with her teammates once again for the right to compete in her third Olympic Games.

“I am happy with how I shot considering the stressful World Cup and quota year I have come off,” Cogdell-Unrein stated afterwards.  “I was definitely mentally exhausted going into this match, so I’ll be excited to go into Tillar rested and feeling like myself.”

Sitting in third place is reigning National Champion Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California) who is five targets back of Beaman and three shy of Cogdell-Unrein.  Carroll earned the first Finals win Saturday and was third today.  Gayla Gregory (College Station, Texas) sits in fourth place, 15 targets back of first, having finished second and fifth in each of the two finals.

Rounding out the top five is Cheyenne Waldrop (Forest Hill, California) who made a charge up the leaderboard on the final two days, a result boosted by connecting on 50 straight targets in her eighth and ninth rounds Sunday and Monday morning.  Waldrop and Cogdell-Unrein were the only competitors with rounds of 25-straight and Waldrop had two of them.  On her last 125 targets, she was 18 targets better than her first two days of competition. She’ll be in fourth place, 16 targets back of first, entering the last half of Olympic Trials.

With no Olympic spot available in Men’s Trap, contenders were left competing for the opportunity to represent USA Shooting at the 2016 World Cup in Cyprus to begin next season.   The winner from this Fall Selection Match would punch his ticket.  It would be a tale of two matches in trying to determine who would step up and secure his bid.  Prevailing was up-and-coming junior shooter Dustin McGowen (Greenwood, Arkansas) who continues to elevate his status in this discipline.  A 2015 Junior World Team member, McGowen went about proving his second-place finish at this year’s National was no fluke. The four-day matched tested everyone with not one competitor making it into both finals as 12 men got the opportunity to get Finals tested.  But, it was McGowen’s consistency through the two qualifying matches that gave him the one-point edge in the end.

A shoot-off between Anthony Matarese (Pennsville, New Jersey) and Collin Wietfeldt (Hemlock, Michigan), who won the first match final, would be used to determine second place with Matarese prevailing.  Alex Rennert (Surfside, Florida) scored the best final qualifying match of all competitors with a 120/125 to help erase the deficit he dug with a 108 qualifying match score to get things started. He’d finish second in today’s match final behind former National Team athlete Matt Gossett (Springville, Alabama).  Christopher Haire (Anna, Illinois) finished fourth while Jake Wallace (Castaic, California) was fifth.  Twenty-two athletes finished within 10 targets of McGowen.

Attention now turns to Skeet and Double Trap with competition in Skeet beginning Wednesday and Double Trap set to get underway on Thursday.

For full Trap results, click here. Check out USA Shooting’s FLICKR SITE for pictures of today’s trap action.  

  • About Barbara Baird

    Publisher/Editor Barbara Baird is a freelance writer in hunting, shooting and outdoor markets. Her bylines are found at several top hunting and shooting publications. She also is a travel writer, and you can follow her at https://www.ozarkian.com.