10 Army Shooters Win Slots on 2000 U.S. Olympic Team
By Paula J. Randall Pagn
National Guard Bureau
FORT BENNING, Ga., Aug. 1, 2000 Ten soldiers of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit here will be competing Sept. 18 to 23 at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The shooters dominated the men's competition in the Olympic selection matches in Atlanta June 21 to July 1, winning 11 of the 20 event slots on the U.S. men's Olympic shooting team.
The Games will be held Sept. 15 to Oct. 1. The shooting competition will be at the Sydney International Shooting Centre Park, which has a capacity of 7,000.
AMU soldiers who made the 2000 Olympic Team are:
Maj. Michael E. Anti of Winterville, N.C., 35, and Capt. Glenn A. Dubis of Bethel Park, Pa., 41, are entered in the free rifle three position contest Sept. 23. Anti competed in the 1992 Olympics. Dubis, a U.S. Olympian in 1996, 1988 and 1984, will also compete in the free rifle prone match Sept. 21.
Sgt. 1st Class James Todd Graves of Laurel, Miss., 37, and Sgt. Michael E. Schmidt Jr. of Leon, Iowa, 42, are entered in the skeet event Sept. 22 and 23. Graves competed in the 1996 and 1992 Games; Schmidt is a first-timer.
Sgt. 1st Class Thomas A. Tamas of Columbus, Ga., 35, will compete in the Men's Free Rifle Prone Match Sept. 21. This will be his first Olympics, although he was a 1992 alternate.
Staff Sgt. Kenneth A. Johnson of Marshfield, Mass., 31, a 1996 Olympic alternate, and first-timer Sgt. Jason A. Parker of Omaha, Neb., 26, will represent the United States Sept. 18 in the air rifle competition. Johnson's wife, Nancy, is also on the U.S. team and will compete Sept. 16 in the women's air rifle event.
The other AMU winners will all compete in their first Olympics. Sgt. 1st Class Daryl L. Szarenski of Saginaw, Mich., 32, will try for gold Sept. 19 in the free pistol match. Spc. William H. Keever of Rutherfordton, N.C., 24, participates in the Men's Double Trap Sept. 20. Sgt. 1st Class Lance D. Dement of San Antonio, Texas, 31, will start two days of running target competition Sept. 21.
The USAMU International Rifle shooters dominated the Atlanta trials, taking all six slots on the Olympic men's rifle team.
"The rifle team is very strong; all of them have a chance to win a medal. They have proved this by shooting the scores that are necessary to win in the Olympics," said William E. Krilling, AMU International Rifle Team coach. "Their attitude is positive and training is going very well. I'm looking forward to the competition with confidence."
AMU shotgun experts took three out of seven Olympic slots. "Todd Graves, Mick Schmidt and Bill Keever did an outstanding job. This is the result of hard work," said Burl Branham, AMU shotgun team coach. "They are all good soldiers and shooters. I am proud to work with them."
Szarenski is completely focused, training hard and ready to perform in Sydney.
"Daryl Szarenski is a true champion," said AMU International Pistol Team coach Frank Briggs. "After losing a chance to become an Olympian in air pistol because of a pistol malfunction, he continued on in true Army form and performed superbly in the free pistol trials and won himself an Olympic slot."
"Lance Dement has an intense desire to shoot extremely well -- therefore he does," said Troy A. Lawton, USAMU running target coach. "Dement is a strong champion. His long hours of high quality training and commitment to excellence has earned him this spot on the Olympic team."
The Olympians will leave Fort Benning in two groups. The first will depart Sept. 6 and arrive in Sydney Sept. 9 via San Diego to train until matches begin Sept. 16. The second group will leave for San Diego Sept. 11 and arrive in Sydney Sept. 14.
(Paula J. Randall Pagan works for the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Public Affairs Office, Fort Benning, Ga.)