COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado –-(Ammoland.com)- The Men’s Rifle competition at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) wrapped today with the Three-Position Rifle event. The top Juniors from across the country were on hand to battle for medals, coveted National Junior Team slots, as well as the chance to represent the United States at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship later this summer in Changwon, South Korea.
Taking top honors by 15 selection points and just two days shy of his 18th birthday was Peter Fiori, Jr. (Lebanon, New Jersey). Over the two days of Qualification, Fiori shot two, world-class, Junior-level scores of 1161 and 1160. Though he didn’t need the additional points, he capped things off with a win in the lone Final for an additional eight points.
“I came in with high hopes and I was pretty confident in myself so I guess it paid off!” Fiori said. “Definitely more confident than I was last year [where I finished fourth]. The last couple years I focused on what the score was going to be, but this time I just focused on shooting. It doesn’t matter what the score is, just shoot a good shot over and over again and this time it paid off.”
Picking up his second National Junior Olympic silver medal and the lone Junior male rifle athlete to qualify for the World Championship in both Air and Three-Position Rifle was 16-year-old Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado). On the first day of Qualification, he shot a world-class Junior score of 1159.
“Smallbore match was a bit longer and kind of rough, but I kind of pulled back second day for the Final to secure my spot in second place,” Shaner said. “I’ll be the only [Junior] male rifle shooter shooting both events [at Worlds] so I just need to get back to work and start preparing…In Finals, you just need to kind of let loose and do what you know how to do!”
Claiming bronze and the final Junior Men’s Rifle slot on the World Championship team was Ohio State sophomore Jacob Buchanan (Spring, Texas). Though he only shot a score of 1145 on the first day, he shot the highest Qualification score of the match (1162) on his second day.
“The first day was rough. I came down with a stomach bug or something,” Buchanan said. “But the second day I came back feeling better, got some energy, prone, standing – it all went pretty well – so I couldn’t have asked for anything more! I’m pretty excited [to go to World Championships]. It’s what I came out here to do – pretty good way to end my last JOs.”
Though Fiori entered the Final with a dominating total over the two days of 2321, the next four athletes in the standings were only separated by six points, making the additional points athletes earned on position in the Final (i.e. eight for first, seven for second place and so on) very important. Making his Finals debut and setting a new J3 (ages 14 and younger) National Record on his first day of competition was 13-year-old Braden Peiser (San Angelo, Texas) with a score of 1150. He then went on to beat the record he just set with a score of 1153 today. He also finished in second place in the Final and in fourth place overall. He was the youngest competitor in this Men’s Three-Position Rifle competition.
National Junior Olympic invitations were sent to 763 athletes representing 49 states. These athletes were selected following championship competition at the state level which totaled 2,408 competitors. The NJOSC features the top 32 percent of all competitors in 2018 and will feature invitees that either won their state championship or were selected based on a score they attained. The competitors range in age from 10 to 20 years old, and are classified according to age as J1 (ages 18-20), J2 (ages 15-17) or J3 (ages 14 and younger).
The gold medalist in the J2 category was Matthew Sanchez (Tampa, Florida). The silver medalist was Gavin Barnick (Mora, Minnesota) and the bronze medalist Kyle Kutz (Darien, Connecticut). The gold medalist in J3 was Peiser and the silver medalist was Hayden Bell (Kennerdell, Pennsylvania).
Only 17 percent of the Men’s Three-Position Rifle Junior Olympic competitors nationally earned an invitation to this prestigious match. Sixty athletes competed in the Men’s Three-Position Rifle competition and all athletes earned their invitations to this match based on performances at their state-level Junior Olympic competitions.
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