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Men’s Rifle to Open National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (April 4, 2018)

At the USA Shooting headquarters inside the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the beginning of April always means one thing – the start of the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC). The top Junior Rifle/Pistol athletes in the country will be making their annual pilgrimage to Colorado for three weeks of competition, with the Men’s Rifle competition kicking things off on Saturday.

Junior Olympic invitations were sent to 763 athletes representing 49 states. These athletes were selected following championship competition at the state level which totaled 2,408 competitors. The NJOSC will feature the top 32 percent of all competitors in 2018 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). Only 38 percent of Men’s Air Rifle and 17 percent of Men’s Three-Position Rifle athletes nationally earned invitations to this prestigious match.

While they have their sights set on earning NJOSC medals, these athletes will also be competing for the chance to represent the United States at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship August 31 – September 14 in Changwon, South Korea. For more information on World Championship Team selection procedures for Junior athletes, click here.

In Men’s Air Rifle, 179 athletes will take the line, including last year’s NJOSC champion and the top finisher overall in the World Championship selection matches in this event, Logan Ogden (Galway, New York, pictured). While the Air Force sophomore already punched his ticket to the World Championship in the Open division, he wasn’t even the top qualifier for NJOSC in this event. That honor goes to Ohio State’s Jacob Buchanan (Spring, Texas) who earned the distinction with a score of 597.

Last year’s bronze medalist in this event and Men’s Three-Position Rifle, Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colorado), looks to perform well again, winning the Men’s Air Rifle Final at the recent Rifle/Pistol Spring Selection Match. Also look for a strong performance from last year’s J2 Champion and Prone Rifle Champ Peter Fiori (Lebanon, New Jersey) who’s now aged up to the J1 category.

The 2017 Men’s Three-Position Rifle gold and silver medalists have aged out of the NJOSC competition, leaving Shaner as the heir apparent in the event, but also keep an eye out for Fiori, who won Junior gold in this event at Robert Mitchell Rifle Championships earlier this year.

The top qualifier in Men’s Three-Position Rifle is Navy’s Daniel Engers (Walla Walla, Washington) who shot a 590 at his state competition. (Please note: Athletes earning Three-Position Rifle invitations competed in a 3x20-shot match at the state level and will shoot the ISSF regulation 3x40 at NJOSC). Engers and his fellow Washington athletes make up the state that earned the most invites to NJOSC in the Men’s Rifle events: 42 in Air and 33 in Three Position.

The Men’s Rifle competition starts Friday and ends on April 11. To view a complete schedule of the Men’s Rifle competition: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/0_2018/RP_JO/National_JO/Schedule
/2018_NJOSC_Mens_Rifle_Schedule_Updated.pdf.

This year’s competition will feature the new ISSF shooting format which means that the women’s rifle and air pistol events will now feature the same number of shots (60) as the men. 

The 20-day spectacle of youth competition begins Saturday with Men’s Rifle, which leads into Women’s Rifle beginning April 14 and concludes with the Junior Pistol program and Paralympic Air Rifle starting April 20. 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.  

Learn more about NJOSC: http://www.usashooting.org/7-events/njosc/njoscrifle

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