Mother and Son Earn National Team Berths Shooting Air Pistol at USA Shooting Championships
2016 Olympian Will Brown and his mother, Susan just became the first mother and son to become teammates on the USA Shooting National Team.
Will’s bronze-medal win in Men’s Air Pistol at the 2017 USA Shooting National Championships may be more memorable than any of the national titles or World Cup medals he’s won throughout his career. Not because of the award itself, or even the scores he shot – but just over an hour after he won his medal, Brown cheered his mother on to a medal of her own as she won bronze in Women’s Air Pistol.
“I knew it was close, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up!” Susan said excitedly. “It’s been a goal to get on a Team with the boys. It would have been great if Wyatt (Will’s brother and former National Junior Team member) could have been here too but he had to work.”
It’s not the first time USA Shooting has had a parent and child on the National Team together. In the early 1980s, shooting legend Lones Wigger and his daughter, Deena, competed together on a National Team, as well as being teammates at the 1983 Pan American Games, in Caracas, Venezuela.
Though the Brown brothers had been shooting since they were kids in Twin Falls, Idaho, Susan and her husband, Dan, just started shooting right before the 2012 Olympics.
“The boys were going and we got into handguns too and just loved it,” Susan, said.
Susan and Will competed together as at the CAT Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in 2014 where Will won gold in Men’s Air Pistol. Susan, who was competing at the event to earn a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) required for Olympic competition, said she was just happy to be there for her son’s win.
“I don’t even talk to him at matches unless I really, really need his help. He doesn’t want his mom there. He’s given me great advice though: To trust my hold. He tells me how good my hold is and that I should trust it and have confidence in myself. He’s very good at that. I know he’s not lying to me. He wouldn’t say something that’s not true. Plus, I’m good at making sandwiches and making his lunch,” she laughed.
James Hall (Anniston, Alabama) won the Men’s Air Pistol gold medal and Will’s Olympic teammate, Jay Shi (Phoenix, Arizona), won the silver.
On the women’s side, 2012 Olympian Sandra Uptagrafft (Phenix City, Alabama) had already won the gold medal before the Final even started with a 10-point lead following the two days of Qualification. 2015 National Champion Alexis Lagan (Las Vegas, Nevada) won silver.
Competition in the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle/Pistol and WSPS-sanctioned match continues through Sunday. More than 350 athletes from across the country have descended on Fort Benning to compete for National Championship titles and appointments to the National, National Junior and National Paralympic Teams. More than 30 athletes from nine countries have come to Fort Benning to compete in the WSPS-sanctioned match.