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Top NJOSC Athletes Embark on Inaugural ISSF Junior World Championship for Rifle/Pistol

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (June 21, 2017)

Eleven Junior Rifle and Pistol athletes will spend part of their summer vacation in Suhl, Germany representing the United States in the first International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World Championship for Rifle/Pistol starting tomorrow and wrapping on June 29.

The top-two finishers in each event at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) in April earned nominations to the team.  A committee made up of USA Shooting coaches/staff determined any potential third spots in each discipline.

Leading the team will be 2016 Olympic gold medalist Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) who will compete in Air, Three-Position and Prone Rifle individual events, as well as in the Mixed Team event. Thrasher closed out her 2016 run with a bronze medal in Air Rifle at the ISSF World Cup Final. Most recently, Thrasher competed in the Meeting of the Shooting Hopes in Pilsen, Czech Republic where she won silver in Women’s Three-Position Rifle. Just prior to that, she competed in the ISSF World Cup in Munich where she finished in 22nd place, but shot an impressive 416.8 in Qualification - .5 points higher than she did in Qualification at the Olympic Games. She’s currently the top-ranked woman in the world in Air Rifle by the ISSF.

Also, look for strong performances from up-and-comer Jason Desrosiers (Swansea, Massachusetts), who is slated to compete in Air, Three-Position and Prone Rifle at this World Championship. His world-class Qualification score of 1169 in Three-Position Rifle at NJOSC would have put him in most Open-level World Cup Finals.

The rest of the Rifle contingent is impressive as well. The top athlete at this year’s NCAA Championships, Morgan Phillips (Salisbury, Maryland), will shoot all three of the women’s rifle events. NJOSC Smallbore Champion and TCU athlete Rachel Garner (Celina, Texas) fired not one, but two world-class Qualification scores at NJOSC (587 and 585) to claim the NJOSC Women’s Three-Position Rifle title She will shoot all three of the individual women’s events, as well as the Mixed Team event with Desrosiers. Rounding out the rifle squad will be National Training Center Club standout Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won bronze in Men’s Air and Three-Position Rifle at this year’s NJOSC. Shaner will shoot all three individual men’s rifle events, as well as the Mixed Team event with Thrasher.

Sarah Choe (Los Angeles, California) and Katelyn Abeln (Douglasville, Georgia) picked up medals in Women’s Air and Sport Pistol at NJOSC and will compete in both events at this World Championship.

Choe also won gold on Day 2 in the Open category at the Winter Airgun Championships in December. They’ll be joined by NJOSC Air Pistol Champion Kellie Foster (Rockdale, Texas)– the only athlete on the team who competed in the most recent ISSF World Championship in Granada, Spain in 2014.

The Men’s side will be represented by two brothers and Olympic Training Center resident athlete Charles Platt (Colorado Springs, Colorado). The Leverett brothers – Jack III and Henry (Bainbridge, Georgia)– along with Platt will compete in Air and Rapid Fire Pistol. The trio were the top finishers in Air and Rapid Fire at this year’s NJOSC.

At the Meeting of the Shooting Hopes in Pilsen, Jack III recently won a bronze medal in Men’s Sport Pistol.

More than 500 athletes from 65 nations have registered to compete at this inaugural Junior World Championship for Rifle/Pistol, resulting in 978 starts.

The finals will be streamed live on the ISSF website, on the Federation’s Livestream channel and on its official Facebook page. Schedules and start lists can be found on the ISSF website: http://www.issf-sports.org/competitions/venue/schedule.ashx?cshipid=1910

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National Shooting Sports Foundation