Olympic trapshooter Corey Cogdell of Eagle River has put a triumphant twist on that whole shotgun wedding deal.
In this case, the wedding came first. Then the shotgun.
A few weeks after marrying Denver Broncos defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, Cogdell claimed her second national trapshoot title with a record-setting performance at the USA Shooting championships Aug. 4-5 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Cogdell, the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, set a meet record by hitting 241 of 250 targets, a performance that included 96 straight targets.
After 250 targets in preliminary competition, Cogdell was tied at 241 with Ashley Carroll of Solvang, California. Cogdell went on to defeat Carroll in both gold-medal finals to earn her second national championship. The first came in 2009.
The victory marked a big comeback for Codgell, who last spring failed to make Team USA’s world championship team for the first time in several years.
“It was definitely hard not to make that team,” she said Saturday. “I’m the only woman in the last seven years that has made that team consistently. I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, but I was always there.”
She didn’t have much time to feel sorry for herself though. On June 21, she married Unrein in a ceremony in Colorado Springs.
Had she made the world championship team, “I don’t know how I would have planned everything,” Cogdell said. “My team was gone for 21 straight days and came back 11 days before my wedding.”
Cogdell returned to action at the national championships, where she put together three consecutive perfect rounds of 25 for the second time in her career. In 2013, she became the second woman in World Cup history to hit 75 of 75 targets.
“It’s really reassuring to know my talent level was still up to that point, that I could repeat something that was so hard to do before,” Cogdell said.
“I was really close to 100 straight. I missed my fourth-to-last shot to get 99 out of 100.”
The national meet was the first of three competitions that will decide the 2016 Olympic team. Cogdell was a member of the 2008 and 2012 teams.
Cogdell, who grew up in Alaska and started hunting as a child with her dad, is one of USA Shooting’s most recognized athletes. She is a regular on TV hunting shows and will shoot some episodes for Wild West Alaska when she comes home for a visit in September.
Because of that profile, Cogdell will continue to use her maiden name at competitions.
“I’m going to take his name for everything but shooting,” she said. “We decided I work hard enough that I get to keep the name for shooting.”
Reach Beth Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org.