Hamilton, English, Collins Are Shooting Champions
Veteran Don Hamilton became the national free-pistol champion, while Mike English and Steve Collins took top honors in the running-game target and rapid-fire pistol competition, during Wednesday’s finals at the U.S. International Shooting Championships in Chino.
English, who was disappointed last year after not making the Olympic team in the running-game target competition, was pleased with his national title, which he won with a three-day aggregate score of 1,772 out of 1,800.
The event is shot with a scoped .22-caliber rifle at a moving silhouette of a boar.
English will defend his national titles in the two other running-game target events, the 10-meter air and the mixed run, later this week.
Steve Collins’ rapid-fire pistol victory took seven years of training and competition for the 23-year-old from Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The event is shot with semi-automatic .22-caliber pistols at turning silhouette targets 25 meters from the shooter. In the fastest of three phases, the shooter must fire five aimed shots--one at each target--in four seconds.
Collins’ winning score was 1,772 out of a possible 1,800.
Hamilton, of Kingston, Mass., said tension was high for him, too. He likened his victory in the free pistol competition to being on the pole in a race.
“It was like leading the pack, and the pressure of that detracted from my score,” he said. “Still, it was enough to win. The three days of free pistol shooting is my toughest event out here.”
Hamilton was national champion in the same event in 1968, and he competed on the U.S. Olympic teams in 1968 and 1980.
Ben Amonette of Nitro, W. Va., was second in the three-day free pistol with a score of 1,670. Don Nygord of La Crescenta also shot a 1,670, but he was awarded third because Amonette shot a 564 on Wednesday, compared to Nygord’s 552. Nygord probably could have won the event, but he shot one round into the dirt below his target, taking a zero for that shot.
In other ongoing competition, Dan Carlisle of Conroe, Tex., moved into a two-target lead in the international, or bunker, trapshooting event with an aggregate score of 217. Four other shooters are tied with 215 after the third day of the five-day competition.
Competition continues in the 25th annual championships through July 6 at Prado Tiro, the 1984 Olympic shooting facility in Chino.