By Maj. Michelle Lunato
| 98th Training Division -Initial Entry Training | April 4, 2019
U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Sandra Uptagrafft, a truck driver with the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), fires her pistol at the 2019 USA Shooting’s Pistol Spring Selection on Fort Benning, Georgia March 29-30. At the end of the two-day, 25m Pistol Match, the Phenix City, Alabama resident earned a spot on both the upcoming World Cup and Pan Am Game Teams with her solid performances. Uptagrafft, who is a 2012 Pistol Olympian, will compete in those upcoming games in hopes of earning the Unites States a 25m Pistol quota, or ticket to compete in the 2020 Olympics. Once the United States earns quotas in Olympic events, a U.S. Pistol Team will be selected, and Uptagrafft is hoping to make that team. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Maj. Michelle Lunato/released) (Photo by Maj. Michelle Lunato)
U.S. Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Sandra Uptagrafft, a truck driver with the 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), secured a spot on both the upcoming two World Cup and Pan American Games teams for the Women’s 25m Pistol event after successfully competing in the 2019 USA Shooting Pistol Spring Selection at Fort Benning, Georgia, March 27-30.
The two-day course of fire pitted the Phenix City, Alabama, resident against some of the top pistol competitors, who were all vying for spots on the teams that would take them to the both upcoming World Cup Games in Beijing, China and Munich, Germany, as well as the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, later this summer.
Uptagrafft not only made it into the 25m Pistol Finals both days, but won them, earning her vital points to make the coveted international pistol teams. For the Pan American Games, the Army Reserve Soldier placed second with 1158 points, just 1.5 points behind Alexis Lagan. For the two World Cup Games, Uptagrafft seized the top spot with 1166 points, just one point over Lagan who came in second.
The opportunity to compete in the three upcoming international competitions, will give the Reserve Soldier the chance to earn the United States the essential quota, or ticket, to compete in the 25m Pistol event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. If successful, this would not be the Soldier’s first quota win though. In the 2011 Pan American Games, Uptagrafft earned the United States an Olympic quota in 25m Pistol and eventually earned herself a spot on Team USA for the 2012 Olympics where she competed in both 10m Air Pistol (placed 28th) and 25m Pistol (placed 28th).
At the recent Spring Selection’s 10m Pistol Matches, Uptagrafft just missed making the international teams when she placed fourth in the World Cup listing and third in the Pan American Game listing. (Only the top three and top two competitors, respectively, were invited to compete.)