Air Force Falcons Fly High at National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, Earn Team Slots for Junior World Championship
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (April 9, 2017)
Two Air Force Academy athletes won gold and silver today in the Men’s Air Rifle event at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Freshman Logan Ogden (Galway, New York) had already secured the overall title before today’s Final with two dominating Qualification performances (623.8 yesterday and 623.3 today). He entered the Final with an 8.3-point lead on eventual silver medalist and Air Force teammate Spencer Cap (Cranbury, New Jersey).
While Ogden sat near the bottom of the pack during the first series of the Final, a shot series of 10.8, 10.9 and a 10.8 thrust him into the lead, where he’d eventually win the Final as well. As this competition was a selection match for the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Championship later this summer in Suhl, Germany, athletes shot two, 60-shot Qualification matches to qualify for the eight slots in today’s Final. Points were added based on placement in today’s Final to the Qualification scores to determine the overall winners. The top-two finishers in this event secured team nominations to the Junior World Championships.
“I actually wasn’t expecting this,” Ogden said. “I just got a new suit two days ago and just got to practice with it twice before this match. I was going into this thinking I wouldn’t be used to the new suit, but it worked out for the better - everything aligned! With my scores in Qualification, I had a lot of pressure taken off me in the Final. I went into it as a practice for Germany since I knew I was going to finish first. I was just getting into the right mindset for Germany.”
“He’s certainly one of the strongest freshman we’ve ever had,” said Air Force Rifle head coach Launi Meili. “He wants to perform well and he handles pressure. When he digs himself a hole, he’s patient and he’ll get himself out of it. He and Spencer Cap just thrive under pressure. Even though they feel it differently, they channel it into the right momentum for a match. If they shoot some bad shots, they don’t lose focus and just use it to build momentum.”
National Training Center Junior Club athlete Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won the bronze medal.
In age classification awards, Peter Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) won the J2 title. Fiori was also the youngest competitor to qualify for the overall Final with a two-day Qualification score of 1233.3. Casper Schadler (Vancouver, Washington) won the J2 silver and Mason Hamilton (Springfield, Kentucky) won the J2 bronze.
In the youngest category, Scott Rockett (Cary, North Carolina) won the J3 gold. Rio Ferguson (North Borough, Massachusetts) won J3 silver and Jacob Oberle (Hudson, Colorado) won bronze.
Competition continues tomorrow with the start of the Men’s Smallbore Rifle events.
The athletes competing at the 18-day match were selected following championship competition at the state level, which totaled 2,568 competitors. The NJOSC features the top-30 percent of all competitors in 2017 and includes 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).
For complete results from Men’s Air Rifle: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/0_2017/RP_JO/Results/Final_Mens_Air_Rifle_Results.pdf
To view and download images from this event: https://flic.kr/s/aHskTGgnsC.