UAF's Emmons qualifies in third Olympic event
FORT BENNING, Ga. - Matt Emmons became the first American to qualify for one Olympics in three shooting events, when he won the three-position competition at the U.S. trials on Monday.
Emmons, a former University of Alaska Fairbanks shooter from Browns Mills, N.J., dominated the field in three-position, a rifle event in which shots are fired while prone, standing and kneeling. He finished with a score of 3,717.1 points, more than 30 ahead of runner-up Mike Anti, of Winterville, N.C. Fewer than 25 points separated Anti from the eighth-place finisher.
Both Emmons and Anti earned berths in the three-position competition at the Athens Olympics. Last week, Emmons and Anti took both spots in the prone rifle event. Emmons also finished second in air rifle at the trials.
Emmons was the 2002 world champion in prone rifle, and won four individual NCAA rifle championships - three in smallbore rifle, one in air rifle - at Alaska Fairbanks. He also won four NCAA team titles with the Nanooks (2000-2003). He is the second Nanook to earn a spot on the Olympic shooting team, joining Melissa Mulloy who represented the United States in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
In men's air pistol, Jason Turner of Rochester, N.Y., and Darryl Szarenski of Saginaw, Mich., hung on to the top two positions to earn spots on the Olympic team. Szarenski finished at 2,406.8, just four-tenths of a point ahead of Brian Zins of Quantico, Va., to place second and take the final berth.
In women's sport pistol, Elizabeth Callahan of Upper Marlboro, Md., and Rebecca Snyder of Grand Junction, Colo., dominated, finishing more than 40 points ahead of their nearest competitors.
This will be the third Olympics for Anti, Callahan and Snyder.
Carl Blackhurst takes seventh in steeplechase
PALO ALTO, Calif. - Carl Blackhurst of Haines finished seventh in the 3,000-meter steeplechase event at the Payton Jordan U.S. Open held Sunday and Monday at Stanford University.
Blackhurst, who won small-schools state cross-country running titles in 1993 and 1995, posted a time of 8 minutes, 42.94 seconds in the race, about nine seconds slower than his personal record. The steeplechase event features jumping over several heavy hurdles each lap, plus there is one jump each lap where a pit behind the hurdle is filled with water.
Ray Hughes won the race in 8:29.20, the second-fastest time recorded in the United States this year. Isaiah Festa took second place in 8:30.48, while Kenya's Solomon Kandie took third place in 8:31.49.
Blackhurst is a graduate assistant coach for the Adams State College track and field team in Alamosa, Colo. He is scheduled to compete in the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 9-18 in Sacramento, Calif.