Colorado Springs, CO -(AmmoLand.com)- After a week of competition for 300 junior shotgun athletes from across the nation, five Junior Olympic National Champions have been crowned in each of the three shotgun disciplines at the 2015 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC).
The event included much more than medalists and National Junior Team selections as the Junior World Championship team was selected, with three athletes qualifying from each discipline for a total of 15 junior athletes now set to compete for Team USA at the 2015 Shotgun World Championships in Lonato, Italy, Sept. 10-19. This week’s NJOSC was the second half of the junior team qualifier that began during the USA Shooting National Championships in June.
Below you will find recaps for each shotgun discipline.
Trap (July 23-24)
Nathaniel Lundie (Wellesley, Massachusetts), commanded the men’s match with an impressive 120/125 over the two-day qualification match. After placing second in the final, Lundie, a bronze medalist a year ago, won his first National Championship and earned his way onto the National Junior Team. Placing second was Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Georgia), who reconfirmed his National Junior Team status and qualified for the Junior World Championship Team. Following in third was 2014 runner-up Tyler Lirio (Coolidge, Georgia), who qualified with 120 targets as well and had to survive a shoot-off with Junior National Champion Dustin McGowen (Greenwood, Arkansas) to earn the podium spot.
Top J2 (15-17 years of age) finisher was Roe Reynolds (Quitman, Arkansas) while Grayson Davey (Anchorage, Alaska) was the high J3 (14 years and younger).
Barfield will be joined on the World Champs team by McGowen, who despite the fourth-place NJOSC finish still earned the top spot during the two-event selection match, and Logan Mountain (Palmdale, California), who finished seventh at NJOSC but third at Nationals to earn his spot by two points over Lirio.
Emily Hampson (Saint Charles, Missouri) is the National Junior Olympic Champion on the women’s side after tying with Ellie Roditis(McKenzie, Tennessee) with 114/125 targets hit and then defeating Roditis in the gold-medal final. Stephanie Gutierrez (Valencia, California) earned the third spot on the podium.
Top J2 finisher was Emma Williams (Savannah, Tennessee) while Abby Blakeley (Tallahassee, Florida) was the high J3.
Hampson and Roditis earned World Team selection as did National Junior Champion Grace Hambuchen (Maumelle, Arkansas), who built up a 12-point advantage after Nationals to earn her spot despite just a 10th-place showing at NJOSC.
Double Trap (July 26)
Jesse Haynes-Lewis (Nahant, Massachusetts) left no doubt in his quest to repeat as Junior Olympic National Champion with a wire-to-wire lead in qualifying and then backed that up with a finals win over National Team member Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana). Dustin McGowen(Greenwood, Arkansas) showcased his skill in another shotgun discipline by earning a third-place finish following his fourth-place result in Trap while earning a World Team selection in that event.
McGowen fell short in his bid for a second World Team position however as Hank Garvey (Newburyport, Massachusetts) had just enough points built up from a strong Nationals performance to earn the third team spot despite a disappointing 11th-place finish at NJOSC.
Top J2 (15-17 years of age) finisher was Tyler Deyo (Johnstown, Ohio) while Grayson Davey (Anchorage, Alaska) picked up his second high J3 (14 years and younger) honor.
Skeet (July 26-27)
Coming into NJOSC with an almost insurmountable 33-point advantage for World Team selection, there was only one thing that Dania Vizzi(Odessa, Florida) had left to do and that was to leave her legacy during the 20-year-old’s final Junior Olympic event. Mission accomplished for the reigning Junior World Champion after winning a third-straight Junior Olympic title. Her margin of victory this time was four points after Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) bested her in the gold-medal final to earn the silver medal and a World Team spot. Jacob’s little sister, Jacenta, was the top finisher in the J3 (14 years and younger) category. Earning a bronze medal and World Team spot as well wasSydney Carson (North Liberty, Indiana). Carson’s little brother Sam was also on the medal stand Monday taking home bronze-medal honors in the J3 (14 years and under) category.
Top J2 (15-17 years of age) finisher was Samantha Simonton (Gainesville, Georgia).
Zach McBee (Brady, Texas) earned top Junior Olympic honors on the men’s side in what would be the tightest contest of the competition with four points separating the top-six positions heading into Finals. McBee would emerge victorious by virtue of the top qualifying score of 120 and the three points he earned for a third-place Finals finish and would secure his World Champs nomination in the process. The Hoosier state success in skeet continued as siblings Isaac and Logan Keldsen (Walkerton, Indiana) finished second and third respectively. The older Isaac, 18, finished one point behind McBee after earning the Finals win against Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas), who would eventually finish fifth overall and earn a spot on the World Champs team as well.
Joining McBee and Jungman will be another Indiana native in Christian Elliott (Greenwood). Elliott was second with a four-point advantage heading into NJOSC and would hold on to a spot by two points over Luis Gloria (Tucson, Arizona) despite an eighth-place finish.
Top J2 finisher was Garrett Coles (Fannin, Texas) while Nash Sinclair (Eatonton, Georgia) was high J3 (14 years and younger) honors.
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About USA Shooting
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting’s mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country.