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Smith and Moschetti Win Skeet at National Junior Olympic Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (June 29, 2018)

The last day of the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) for Shotgun went out with a bag – or maybe more of a puff – as the last clays were thrown, and this year’s Skeet champions were crowned at the International Shooting Park on Fort Carson.

More than 225 young shotgun athletes from across the country made their way to Colorado Springs to compete in Trap and Skeet for NJOSC medals, glory and potential invitations to the National Junior Team throughout the week.

In the Skeet competition, it was a nail-biter right to the end in the Women’s and Men’s events as the gold and silver were decided in both Finals by one target (as well as by a score of 54 to 53 targets). Sam Simonton (Gainesville, Georgia) was the top finisher in Qualification for the Women’s event with 121/125 targets – six targets ahead of her closest competitor. Once in the Final, however, it would come down to the wire in breezy conditions with Simonton’s World Championship teammate Austen Smith (Keller, Texas) narrowly edging out Simonton for the gold. Last year’s NJOSC champion, Jacenta Jacob (Rochester, Michigan), won the bronze.

“This match was crazy!” Smith said. “There was a lot of wind and I didn’t shoot exactly what I wanted to, but it worked out in the end. On the last shot I was shaking like crazy.”

The story on the Men’s side was sort of familiar with the top finisher in Qualification, Eli Christman (Hixson, Tennessee), dueling it out in the last 10 targets in the Final with his training partner, Nic Moschetti (Broomfield, Colorado) for NJOSC supremacy.

“It’s been quite the whirlwind, literally,” Moschetti said of the competition. “It’s been really windy and hot these last few days and it’s made competition intense. Scores were up and down all over the place… It was my last Junior Olympics so I was glad I could go out on top.”

It wasn’t until the 56th target in the Final when Christman missed and Moschetti dusted it that Moschetti would go on to defend his 2017 NJOSC title, which was decided in 2017 in a shootoff with Christman. 2016 NJOSC champ Trey Wright (Albany, Georgia) won the bronze medal.

“Christman and I have trained together for the past month so I figured it would come down to he and I, just with how we’ve been shooting,” Moschetti said. “It’s fun getting to shoot against my training partner. I liked that it got down to one target between us – shows we’re both strong shooters and made for a good Final.”

Winning the J2 age category (age 15-17) in Men’s Skeet was Eli Ellis (College Station, Texas). Silver went to Alex Ahlin (Bamberg, South Carolina) and bronze went to Lazaro Puertas (Hialeah, Florida).

Taking J3 (age 14 and younger) gold for the Men was Benjamin Keller (Johnstown, Colorado), Archer Reese won the silver (Decatur, Tennessee) and Luke Priestly (Robstown, Texas) won bronze.

On the Women’s side, Victoria Hendrix (Glendale, Arizona) won the J2 gold, Kaitlyn Lilly (Grand Island, Nebraska) won silver and Molly DiMaggio (Roseville, California) won bronze.

In the J3 category on the Women’s side, Karsyn Ross (Seguin, Texas) won gold and Alishia Layne (Culleoka, Tennessee) won silver.

Complete results from NJOSC (Trap and Skeet)

Learn more about NJOSC

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