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Nation’s Top Junior Sharpshooters Set to Compete at USA Shooting’s National Junior Olympic Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 15, 2015)

More than 500 youth, ages 10 thru 20, will make their way to USA Shooting’s National headquarters over the next three weeks to compete in the 2015 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC).  The competitors represent those that excelled during their state championship, whittled down from the 2,500-plus participants competing in 86 events in 46 states. The invite to compete at the national competition comes with the opportunity for athletes to reach National Junior Team status in USA Shooting’s development pipeline.

Taking to the range first will be 190 top junior athletes in Women’s Rifle featuring competition in both Air and Smallbore (.22 caliber). Katie Zaun (Buffalo, North Dakota) is the youngest competitor in the women’s rifle field at age 11. 

In Air Rifle, all three medalists from the 2014 NJOSC are expected to compete including reigning champ Abby Votova (Colorado Springs, Colorado), silver medalist Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) and bronze medalist Mindy Miles (Weatherford, Texas).  Votava is a high school senior competing on her home range as a member of the National Training Center Junior Shooting Club.  Marsh is coming off a spectacular performance at the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships where she won the three-position smallbore event and finished fourth in air rifle in an event that included several National Team members.  Miles recently finished her freshman campaign at Texas Christian University, which was highlighted by the perfect 600 air rifle score she shot to tie an NCAA record during the Patriot Rifle Conference Championships.  The top qualifying score among the entries was a 396/400 shot by three entries including National Junior Team member Nicole Hankey (McKinney, Texas), Hanna Carr (Versailles, Kentucky) and Sara Tashima (Honolulu, Hawaii). 

Two of the three medalists also make their way back to NJOSC this year in smallbore including reigning National Champion Lauren Phillips (Seabeck, Washington) and bronze medalist Virginia Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia). Phillips just completed her sophomore season as a member of the Nebraska Cornhuskers rifle team and was a member of the 2014 World Championships Team.  A high school senior, Thrasher signed a National Letter of Intent to shoot for West Virginia University next fall.  Also, in the mix will be 2013 National Champion Deanna Binnie (Hollsopple, Pennsylvania), a sophomore at Ohio State University who earned honorable mention All-American accolades for her work this season. Marsh and Hankey put forth the top qualifying score of 584 to qualify.

There is a lot at stake for the young shooters that will travel to Colorado from all corners of the country. Each event will provide two opportunities to be appointed to USA Shooting’s National Junior Team. This is a remarkable opportunity for the nation’s top young shooters to gain valuable experience through different camps and international events. The NJOSC program serves as an important element of USA Shooting’s pipeline development system in promoting the shooting sports.  The states seeing the highest Junior Olympic participation this year included Pennsylvania, Alaska, Washington and Colorado.  

2015 NJOSC Schedule 

Women’s Rifle

Sunday, April 19 – Air Rifle Match 1

Monday, April 20 – Air Rifle Match 2 + Finals

Tuesday, April 21 – Smallbore Match 1

Wednesday, April 22 – Smallbore Match 2 + Finals 

M/W Pistol

Saturday, April 25 – Men’s Sport Pistol Qualification + Finals

Sunday, April 26 – Women’s Sport Pistol Qualification + Finals

Monday, April 27 – Men’s/Women’s Air Pistol Match 1

Tuesday, April 28 – Men’s/Women’s Air Pistol Match 2 + Finals

Men’s Rifle

Friday, May 1 – Air Rifle Match 1

Saturday, May 2 – Air Rifle Match 2 + Finals

Sunday, May 3 – Smallbore 3P & Prone Qualification

Monday, May 4 – Smallbore 3P & Prone Qualification

Tuesday, May 5 – Smallbore 3P & Prone Qualification + Finals 

Those not in attendance can view live targets throughout the competition through our YouTube channel:  www.youtube.com/usashootingteam in the “Live Events” section. For schedules and a complete list of participants, click here:  http://www.usashooting.org/7-events/njosc

FOLLOW THE EVENT OR PARTICIPATE YOURSELF VIA USA SHOOTING’S SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS BY USING THE HASHTAG -- #NJOSC15

Tune-in to listen to Elizabeth Marsh on the NRA News hit show Cam & Co., Thursday at 5:35 pm ET during the USA Shooting spotlight shown live on the Sportsmans Channel. Also, competitor Casey Lutz, the high J2 Air Rifle finisher from a year ago, will be giving her insights throughout the match and we encourage you to follow her on Twitter at @caseyshooter.

USA Shooting Team sponsor and ammunition provider ELEY will be on-hand during the Women’s Rifle portion of NJOSC. Two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Jamie Corkish will facilitate seminars on Monday, April 20 at 3 and 5 pm for all participants and provide tips on shooting and ammunition. Plus, there will be drawings for 500 rounds of ELEY tenex. 

Categories: Press Releases, 2015 National Junior Olympic Championships
National Shooting Sports Foundation