The annual National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) are a right of passage for many Junior shooting athletes across the country and this year’s event is no exception, kicking off with the Men’s Rifle competition starting tomorrow at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Not only will the 607 Rifle and Pistol athletes who earned invitations to the NJOSC from the 48 state-level competitions compete for medals and National Junior Team appointments, they’ll also be vying for the chance to represent the United States at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Cup later this summer in Suhl, Germany.
The Men’s Rifle field welcomes back several National Junior Team members, as well as past NJOSC medalists. University of Kentucky freshman Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado) hit top marks in qualifying for NJOSC in Men’s Three-Position and Air Rifle. He won silver in both of these events at NJOSC in 2018 and is poised to promote those medals at this year’s event. Air Force Academy freshman Peter Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) will also return to defend his gold medal in Men’s Three-Position Rifle. Some others to watch will include 14-year-old Braden Peiser (San Angelo, Texas), who narrowly missed a spot on the Men’s Three-Position Rifle podium last year by two points. Less than a week after NJSOC, Matthew Sanchez (Tampa, Florida) will depart to compete at the ISSF World Cup in China in Men’s Three-Position Rifle from his performance at the recent Spring Selection Match. He also won the Florida state NJOSC title to earn his invite to Colorado Springs. He’ll be one to watch in this event, as well as in Men’s Air Rifle, where he won bronze at last year’s NJSOC.
Some rising talent to watch includes New York Smallbore State JO champ Clayton Hanson(Jamestown, New York) who qualified with a score of 586 and Massachusetts Smallbore State JO champ Rio Ferguson (Northborough, Massachusetts). Hanson also posted an impressive 596 to win the New York Air Rifle State JO title as well. Scott Rockett (Cary, North Carolina) won the North Carolina Air Rifle State JO title with a score of 591.
For invites, schedule and results, please visit the NJOSC page on the USA Shooting website: https://bit.ly/2Vt4MYi. Finals for Men’s Smallbore Rifle will take place Tuesday at 3:30pm and Men’s Air Rifle Finals will take place Thursday at 2:30pm.
The NJOSC features the top 34 percent of all competitors in 2019 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 nine 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).