National Junior Olympic Opportunity Awaits 759 Shooting Sports Enthusiasts
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (February 21, 2016)
There’s few things that mean more to youth across America participating in the shooting sports than the opportunity to compete in the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC). Well, those 2017 presents got unveiled earlier today with first round invites being sent out by USA Shooting to attend the annual April event in Colorado Springs.
"Competing in the Junior Olympics was what sparked my desire to compete both collegiately and in the Olympics,” said 2012 Olympian Amanda Furrer, who recounts competing in at least eight NJOSCs. I grew amazing friendships at the match and learned a lot about myself as a competitor. When I look back on my shooting career, I always remember the fun times I had and the goals I achieved at the Junior Olympics."
Junior Olympic Invitations were sent to 759 athletes representing 49 states. They were selected following championship competition at the state level which totaled 2,568 competitors. The NJOSC will feature the top 30 percent of all competitors in 2017 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).
Top scoring qualifiers in each of the eight contested disciplines include five current National Junior Team members. Top qualifiers included: National Junior Team member Emily Stith (Colorado Springs, Colorado) in Women’s Air Rifle with a score of 397; National Junior Team member Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Arkansas) in Women’s Smallbore (.22 caliber) Rifle with a score of 584; Yulong Jones (Germantown, Maryland) in Women’s Air Pistol with a score of 370; National Junior Team member Sarah Choe (Los Angeles, California) in Women’s Sport Pistol with a score of 572; National Junior Team member Spencer Cap (Cranbury, New Jersey) in Men’s Air Rifle with a score of 595; Trace Haynes (Hazlehurst, Georgia), Elijah Larimer (Arvada, Colorado) and Peter Fiori, Jr. (Lebanon, New Jersey) in Men’s Smallbore Rifle with identical scores of 583; National Junior Team member Antonio Gross (Ontario, New York) in Men’s Air Pistol with a score of 560; and Tony Chung (Diamond Bar, California) in Men’s Sport Pistol with a score of 570.
Reigning Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) will participate as well in her last year before aging out of Junior Olympic eligibility. Thrasher was a 2015 NJOSC bronze medalist in Women’s Smallbore Rifle. Thrasher, who turns 20 next Tuesday, earned both individual NCAA titles last year at West Virginia University followed by the dramatic air rifle gold medal she claimed on the first day of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bolstered by a tremendous showing of National Training Center (NTC) Junior Club with 32 total invites for 26 athletes, the Centennial State of Colorado gets state bragging rights with 56 invitees, followed by Pennsylvania (53) and Texas (50). A pair of 10-year-old female shooters earn the distinction as the youngest participants in the field with Abigail Donald (Missoula, Montana) set to compete in Air Rifle and Annabell Yi (Diamond Bar, California) awarded an invite in Air Pistol. They are among a group of 55 invites awarded to J3 athletes (14 years and younger).
Check the complete list of 2017 NJOSC Invites here:
The 17-day spectacle of youth shooting begins Saturday, April 8 with Men’s Rifle, which leads into Women’s Rifle beginning April 15 and concludes with the Junior Pistol program starting April 21. All competitions give athletes the opportunity to train and compete at the USA Shooting indoor ranges on location at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
2017 NJOSC Schedules