June 15, 2012
FT. BENNING, Ga. -
Army rising junior Michael Matthews was crowned the National Junior Prone Champion and was among nine finalists in contention for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in the Men's 50m Rifle Three Position competition during the final day of the trials held at Ft. Benning, Ga., earlier this week.
Matthews, an NRA smallbore All-American, placed fourth the first day of the Three Position competition with 1256.8 points followed by an 1152 the second day. Weather forced competition the final day to be held on a reduced course (20 shots in lieu of 40 shots) with Matthews posting the top relay score with 584 match points (based on center shots), then fired a 97.3 in the finals to place fourth.
In the battle for the Junior Three Position Title, Matthews posted 2311 points to trail Garret Spurgeon's winning mark by four points, but outpointed Spurgeon in the Olympic Team Trials, 3089.0-3087.9, for the eighth spot among 57 competitors. Sergeant First Class Jason Parker earned the nomination for the US. Olympic Team with his winning mark of 3124.1 points.
"Michael was extremely competitive shooting against full-time athletes," commented Army head coach Ron Wigger. "You can compare his performance to an amateur competing against the pros."
In April, Matthews captured the Men's 50m Smallbore Three Position at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) after finishing runner-up in smallbore at the NCAA Men's and Women's Rifle Championships leading Army to second-place honors.