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News | Jan. 31, 2023

Fort Benning Soldiers Win Eight Medals in Three Separate Countries

By Lt. Col. Michelle Lunato U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit

Soldiers with the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit kicked off 2023 by winning a total of eight medals at three separate international shooting competitions in January.

The USAMU Shotgun Team brought home the bulk of the medals at the International Shooting Sports Federation’s Shotgun World Cup in Rabat, Morocco January 11 - 24. 

Staff Sgt. Christian Elliott seized the Silver Medal, along with his USA Shooting teammate Dania Vizzi, during the Mixed Skeet Team event.

Then in the Men’s Skeet Team event, Team USA won the  Gold Medal. This team included USA Shooting athlete Connor Prince and USAMU’s Staff Sgt. Dustan Taylor and Elliott. 

Though Taylor and Elliott did not make the podium in the individual skeet match, their strong performances raised their world ranking to 4th and 10th.

The trap section was up next and raised the shotgun medal count to six (of nine total shotgun medals by Team USA) by taking the Bronze Medal in the Men’s Trap Team event. Staff Sergeants Dereck Haldeman and Will Hinton joined up with their USA Shooting teammate, 2020 Olympian Derrick Mein, to claim that spot on the podium.

In the women’s category, USAMU’s Sgt. Rachel Tozier set the example of excellence by claiming a medal in all three events that she competed in. During the Women’s Trap event, this Pattonsburg, Missouri native took the individual Bronze Medal, which raised her world ranking to 11th. When she teamed up with Mein, she helped bring home the Gold in the Mixed Trap Team event. And then in the Women’s Trap Team event, Tozier helped secure yet another Gold Medal for Team USA. Teammates on that team included civilian athletes Ariel Skinner and Julia Stallings.

Winning a medal in every event was an absolutely amazing feeling, said the Fort Banning Soldier. “I’m proud to be able to represent the US and the Army at overseas events and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Meanwhile thousands of miles away in Innsbruck, Austria, 2020 Olympian Sgt. Alison Weisz with the USAMU International Rifle Team, claimed two of her own medals at the Meyton Cup. After the Day One Women’s 10m Air Rifle event, Weisz took home the Bronze Medal. After Day Two, this Soldier was determined to claim the Gold Medal this time. 

At the H & N Cup in Munich, Germany (January 24-29), 2020 Olympian Sgt. Sagen Maddalena seized her own Gold Medal in the Day Two Women’s 10 Air Rifle event. The Soldier-athlete posted on her Instagram account that she “snuck into the Final low in the ranking list” and had to adjust her “process into a more aggressive shot execution.” The adjustment worked out for Maddalena and she said, “I am grateful to share the podium with Czech and Norway.”

The next competition the International Rifle Team is the ISSF Cairo, Egypt, World Cup, Feb. 17-24. The next competition for the Shotgun Team is the USA Shooting Spring Selection Feb. 3-8 in Tucson, Arizona.



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