By Brittany Nelson, USAS Public Relations & Communications Manager

COLO SPRGS, CO (June 17, 2024) – Eight shotgun athletes earned their spot to represent Team USA at the Olympic Games Paris 2024, July 26- Aug. 11. The athletes are as follows: Vincent Hancock, Conner Prince, Austen Smith, Dania Vizzi, Derrick Mein, Will Hinton, Rachel Tozier, and Ryann Phillips.

Hancock, of Eatonton, Georgia, qualified in Men’s Skeet and is looking to make history at the Games. Hancock is a four-time Olympian and a three-time Olympic gold medalist, (Beijing 2008, London, 2012, Tokyo 2020). If Hancock earns a fourth gold medal in Paris, he will become the sixth athlete ever to win the same individual Olympic event four times and only the fourth American to do so after Al Oerter, Carl Lewis and Michael Phelps (and the first in shooting). Hancock will also be competing in Mixed Team Skeet with Smith, an event making its Olympic debut.

Prince, of Burleson, Texas, is joining Hancock on the Men’s Skeet Olympic team. Paris will be Prince’s Olympic debut where he will also compete in Mixed Skeet Team with Vizzi. He saw an impressive season in 2023 winning two medals at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) Rabat World Cup. Prince got his start in the sport of shooting through his high school’s Spartan Clay Target team and in 2018 Hancock became Prince’s coach. Hancock now trains and coaches Prince and Smith at his North Lake Shooting Sports Range in north Texas.

Smith, of Keller, Texas, will be making her second Olympic appearance in Paris. The Tokyo 2020 Olympian qualified for Paris in Women’s Skeet. Smith will also pair up with Hancock in Mixed Skeet Team in pursuit of winning two medals at the Games. Smith, who is currently studying aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington, has been on fire in the international shotgun scene. She earned two gold medals at the 2023 ISSF World Championships, (Women’s Skeet Team and Mixed Skeet Team), and a bronze medal at the 2023 Pan American Games. She was most recently crowned champion in Women’s Skeet at the 2024 ISSF Baku World Cup.

Vizzi, an Odessa, Florida, native, is making her first Olympic appearance in Paris. Vizzi qualified in Women’s Skeet and will also be competing in Mixed Skeet Team with Prince. Vizzi actually grew up dancing competitively and turned down an offer for the Juilliard Dance Intensive to focus on her shooting career. Vizzi has excelled in the international scene since then. She has racked up over 20 international medals to include world champion in 2017 and World Cup champion in 2023. Vizzi, who attended the University of Florida, is looking to add an Olympic medal to her impressive hardware collection.

Mein, of Paola, Kansas, is making his second Olympic appearance in Paris for Men’s Trap. The 2022 world champion made his Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020. Mein grew up hunting with his family and began shooting sporting clays at just eight years old. Mein earned a dual scholarship for the baseball and shotgun team at Lindenwood University where he was introduced to the international style of trap and skeet shooting.  He transferred and graduated from Kansas State and soon after found himself competing on the international stage. Mein has earned medals at World Cups, World Championships, and Championships of the Americas (CAT).

The Paris Olympic trap team. L to R, Ryann Phillips, Rachel Tozier, Will Hinton, and Derrick Mein. Photo by Joshua Schave

Hinton, of Dacula, Georgia, is making his Olympic debut in Paris in Men’s Trap. Hinton became familiar with firearms and firearms safety from a young age as he grew up in a family of avid bird hunters and his dad was a bird dog trainer. He competed for the first time in 2007 and made the USA Shooting Junior World Team in 2013. A few years later, Hinton joined the U.S. Army Marksmanships Unit (AMU) where he is currently a staff sergeant. Hinton has seen international success since joining the AMU to include two gold medals at the 2022 Cat Games, and a gold medal at the 2023 ISSF World Championships.

Tozier, of Pattonsburg, Missouri, qualified for her first Olympic Games in Women’s Trap. Tozier, who was an alternate for Tokyo 2020, grew up shooting American Trap with her mother and uncle. She was introduced to the international style of trap in 2010 and has been hooked since. She has over 10 international medals and most recently earned bronze at the 2023 Pan American Games making her a back-to-back Pan American Games medalist as she earned silver at the 2019 Games. Tozier competed on the 2023 World Championship team where she earned a silver medal in Mixed Team Trap with teammate Mein. Tozier is a staff sergeant in the AMU and enjoys weightlifting in her free time.

Phillips, of Gail, Texas, will be making her first Olympic appearance in Paris for Women’s Trap. Phillips, who is currently attending University of A&M Corpus Christi, was introduced to the sport of shooting in the third grade through a Gail, Texas, 4H program. She was intrigued by the sport because it was not a team event, and she didn’t have to worry about the expectations of others. That intrigue turned Phillips into an international shooting star. In 2018 she began shooting international trap and advanced through the ranks. She most recently earned her first international open age category medal at the 2024 ISSF Rabat World Cup. She is grateful for where her career has taken her and appreciates that there is so much more to the world than her “tiny six-man football team town”.

Jay Waldron will be leading the team as the head Olympic shotgun coach for Paris. Waldron is a Barcelona 1992 Olympian and the 1992 Pan American Games champion in Men’s Trap. Waldron has been the USA Shooting national shotgun team coach since 2018. Waldron will be accompanied by Lance Bade and Joe Buffa in Paris. Bade, the assistance trap coach, is a three-time Olympian and a bronze Olympic medalist in Men’s Trap from the Atlanta 1996 Games.  Buffa, who will serve as the assistant skeet coach in Paris, is a 1997 Championships of the Americas medalist and a 2001 Americana World Cup gold medalist.

The first shotgun event for Paris 2024 is Men’s Trap on July 29. All finals events will be live streamed on Peacock, NBC’s streaming platform. See the whole Olympic shooting schedule here.

Olympic alternates for the U.S. Shotgun Team are as follows:

  • Men’s Skeet: Phillip Jungman and Dustan Taylor
  • Women’s Skeet: Sam Simonton and Katharina Jacob
  • Men’s Trap: Derek Haldeman and Seth Inman
  • Women’s Trap: Ashley Carroll and Carey Garrison

As of June 14, the U.S. Olympic shooting team consists of 16 athletes and the U.S. Paralympic team of five. View the entire U.S. Olympic shooting team roster here and the Paralympic roster here.

Follow @USAShooting on Instagram, Facebook, and X to stay up to date as the team gears up for Paris 2024.