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Lagan Olympics bound; BCHS alum to vie in women’s sport pistol in Tokyo

Alexis “Lexi” Lagan of Boulder City is heading to Tokyo this summer to compete in the Olympics as part of the U.S. Shooting team.

She will be competing in women’s sport pistol.

Lagan will be the first female athlete from Boulder City to compete in the Olympics.

“It’s been pretty incredible,” Lagan said.

She said she was in her head a little bit more than usual for this competition, but everything came together in the end.

“Now it’s so much of a release. … It’s almost like a movie being played back of all the good things and the bad things that have brought me to this point,” she said.

She also said going to Japan is fulfilling one of her childhood dreams.

“All the sacrifice, all the hard work, all the hours, all the tears and cheers have been 100 percent worth it in seeing her reach her life goal of being an Olympian,” said her mother, Jill Rowland-Lagan.

She will be joined on the U.S. Shooting pistol team by Sandra Uptagrafft of Phenix City, Alabama, who competed in the 2012 Olympics and was 34 points behind Lagan.

After the first day of phase two’s two-day competition in Fort Benning, Georgia, for a spot on the team, Lagan extended her lead with a score of 581 and 1,745 overall. She scored a 587 on the second day of competition with a score of 2,332 overall.

Heading into the second day of competition, there were five athletes trying to catch Uptagrafft, for the second spot, with the gap narrowing to 12 points.

Katelyn Abeln of Douglasville, Georgia, placed second in the both days of competition, but it wasn’t enough to upset Uptagrafft. She finished with an overall score of 2,281.

In October, Lagan finished first in phase one of the Olympic trials. She was 9 points ahead of Uptagrafft.

Selection to the team was based on the two-phase trials. The second phase featured two days of competition, with each day’s scores added to the finals points awarded to the top eight qualifiers for air pistol and top six qualifiers for rapid fire.

The cumulative score was combined with each participant’s score from the first phase of the trials.

If Lagan wins a medal at the 2020 games, it would be the first earned by a U.S. athlete in women’s sport pistol since 1984, when Ruby Fox earned a silver medal in the women’s 25-meter pistol competition.

“I’m not sure how it happened, but Lexi is just a really good human and so honored to represent her country in Tokyo,” Rowland-Lagan said.

Lagan, who graduated from Boulder City High School in 2011, began shooting competitively when she was in college at the University of Utah. She fell just short of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. After graduating, she decided to pursue shooting and moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to train.

She is the daughter of Jill and Barry Lagan of Boulder City.

To help pay for the traveling and training expenses for the Olympic trials and the games, Lagan created a GoFundMe account as well as a website, https://teamlagan.com, to update people on her progress.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

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