The first U.S. medal in shooting!
Twenty-one year old Corey Cogdell, (Eagle River, Alaska) took home the first medal for the U.S. Shooting team at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing today, claiming the bronze after an exciting shoot-off in the Women’s Trap competition.
Cogdell, who has only been shooting International Trap competitively for a little over two years, entered the final round with a qualification score of 69 out of 75 targets. In the 25 target final, Cogdell shot a score of 17 and ended the final round in a four-way tie at 86 targets with Japan’s Yukie Nakayama, Diana Gudzineviciute from Lithuania and Elena Struchaeva of Kazakhstan. Cogdell drew the fourth spot for the shoot-off and after the first three shooters missed their targets, Cogdell hit a small piece off her target to take third place and claim the bronze.
Now here's the story behind the story...Corey came out of the spectacular NSSF Scholastic Clays Target Program and saw this Olympics as a "warm-up" for 2012. SCTP has taken shooting back into high school and changed the face of youth shooting, but the linkage between SCTP and USA Shooting almost didn't happen. In fact, the very first Olympic camp for SCTP shooters was a touch-and-go thing, some of the older (and no longer there) USA Shooting managers skeptical of a program that was not built specifically for creating Olympic shooters.
I was priveleged to be at the first SCTP Olympic Camp in Colorado Springs at the Olympic Shotgunning Center. I was having lunch the second day when the top U.S. shotgunning coach came over and took me aside, grinning like an idiot. "We were wrong to doubt," he said, looking over the young shooters. "Get these kids to Colorado Springs, and we'll get the medals."
Congrats to Corey, and congrats to NSSF for having the foresight to lay the groundwork!