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2014 National Jr. Olympic Shooting Championships Close with Thrilling Smallbore Final

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 26, 2014)

We have witnessed the future, and in this instance, it looks pretty good. USA Shooting’s yearly glimpse at the shooting prospects that lie ahead concluded Saturday with the Men’s Three-Position Smallbore (.22 caliber) Rifle event. Thirteen days of April shooting competition brought together over 360 competitors in men’s and women’s pistol and rifle events.  

A pretty good four months of work for Tim Sherry with an NCAA title, an NJOSC air rifle title and smallbore runner-up trophy and in prime position for an open team spot at the 2014 World Championships.The excitement never waned throughout those 13 days and the event concluded with a dramatic final that saw the rapid-rising Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) overcome a large deficit in the standing position to overtake Josh Martin (Hershey, Pa.). Sherry would need the win to overtake both David Higgins (Camp Pendleton, Calif.) and Lucas Kozeniesky (Raleigh, N.C.) for second-place overall.  Martin would finish second in the final and sixth overall while Kozeniesky would settle for fourth after tying with Higgins for overall score, but not in center 10s.

Champions at this year’s NJOSC were determined through a modified selection format similar to that of USA Shooting’s National Championships:  Competitors are awarded points each day based on their qualifying score with additional points awarded for performance in the Final – Eight for first, seven for second and so on. 

West Virginia’s Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Mo.) would gain back some revenge on Sherry with a superlative qualifying score that put him 12 points ahead of his nearest competitor. Spurgeon finished second in the event to Sherry at the NCAA Rifle Championships in March while helping lead WVU to its historic 16th NCAA team title.  Spurgeon also picked up a second-place behind Sherry in the Air Rifle event on Wednesday. He finished fourth in each final, but proved throughout the week that his level of concentration in the grueling qualifying rounds is unmatched. 

Sherry continues to impress in 2014 following the NCAA smallbore title he won in March shooting for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (UAF). He was the NJOSC air rifle champion Wednesday and is in good position for not only junior selection in both events after this week but in the open division as well as he sits in fourth overall in three-position with one selection match remaining to name the 2014 World Championships Team. 

The competitors in the open division get most of the glory, but the results in the youngest age division (J3), which features shooters 14 years or younger, actually stole the show. Alec Patajo (Puyallup, Wash.) and Peter Fiori (Lebanon, N.J.) both equaled the J3 national record in the event with scores of 1136, which four-time Olympian and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Mike Anti called “mighty impressive” during the day’s medal ceremony. Both Patajo and Fiori finished 1-2 in the Air Rifle event as well. 

Showcasing the depth and quality of this year's NJOSC, the rifle shooters in the J3 (14 & younger) division including Peter Fiori (L), Alec Patajo (C) and William Shaner (R), stole the spotlight this week with their skills.USA Shooting welcomed six new National Junior Team members to its ranks based on shooter performances during NJOSC. New additions in pistol include Justin Ahn (Diamond Bar, Calif.), Taylor Gallegos (Prosper, Texas) and Irina Andrianova (Schaumburg, Ill.). In Rifle, three new female athletes earned their jacket including Abby Votava (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Lauren Phillips (Seabeck, Wash.) and Lorelie Stanfield (Fairbanks, Alaska). 

For the first time, NJOSC competitors were treated to the thrill of shooting on electronic targets as USA Shooting underwent a massive range upgrade in late 2013 to install a new target system, improve lighting and enhance the spectator experience. Improving the range even more was the debut of a designated Airgun Finals Range as provided by the Ridenour family in honor of the late David F. Ridenour, who competed for West Virginia in the early-80s and was the first four-time NRA All-American in both Air and Smallbore Rifle. The upgraded range is a testament to USA Shooting’s commitment to providing the best possible experience for its athletes. 

The National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships still aren’t over with competitors in the shotgun events still gunning at their state-level Junior Olympic events to potential qualify for their opportunity to compete in Colorado Springs this July. For a preliminary NJOSC for Shotgun schedule, click here. 

Overall

Champion: Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Mo.)
2nd Place:  Tim Sherry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
3rd Place:  David Higgins (Camp Pendleton, Calif.) 

J2

High J2:  Spencer Cap (Cranbury, N.J.)

2nd J2: William Anti (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

3rd J2: Jason Spaude (Saginaw, Mich.) 

J3
High J3: Alec Patajo (Puyallup, Wash.)
2nd J3: Peter Fiori (Lebanon, N.J.)
3rd J3: William Shaner (Silt, Colo.)  

Click here for complete 2014 NJOSC ResultsUSA Shooting now has over 20,000 photos showcasing our great athletes and sport on its Flickr site including 711 from the 2014 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships.  Check them out and download the ones you like here:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/usashooting/sets/

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