Nine World Team Members Ready to Get National Junior Olympic Championships Underway

For nine World Team members set to compete at the 2014 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships for Shotgun starting Wednesday, it is a chance to showcase their talents and ready themselves for world competition. For many others, it is a chance to try and climb the ladder to ultimately put them in position to represent the U.S. now and in the future. 

The stage is set at the International Shooting Park just outside Colorado Springs for the start of the five-day event that will determine Junior Team and Junior Olympic Squad placement for the next year.  Top-two finishers earn a spot on the Junior Team while third and fourth-place finishers get placed on the Junior Olympic Squad.  The event begins Wednesday with competition in Men’s and Women’s Trap with the finals set for Thursday in that event. 

The head of the class in Women’s Trap could be World Team member Ashley Carroll (Solvang, California), who despite being only 19, has created a wealth of opportunity for herself with consistency and calmness that belies her age. She qualified first for the open-class division for the World Championships. Now a resident athlete of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center she also has a home field advantage to go along with it.  

Carroll will need to muster every advantage she can get because the field is stacked behind her with all three Junior World Team members competing including Amber Culwell (Rose Bud, Arkansas), Samantha Smith (Spring Hill, Tennessee) and Katlyn Lawson (Oakfield, Georgia).  Culwell was a bronze medalist at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior Cup in May and teamed with Smith and Lawson for a team bronze medal. In addition, last year’s Junior Olympic runner-up Cheyenne Waldrop (Forest Hill, California) returns as does 2013 finalist Stephanie Gutierrez (Valencia, California) and 2013 National Championships junior bronze medalist Grace Hambuchen (Maumelle, Arkansas).  Waldrop beat Carroll in last year’s final, but lost on overall points when the event was scored under the old event rules. 

In Men’s Trap, junior World Team members Garrett Beissner (Hondo, Texas) and Ryne Barfield (Poulan, Georgia) are set to compete as well as last year’s Junior Olympic bronze medalist Keenan Kremke (Burwell, Nebraska). 

In Women’s Skeet, Junior World Team members competing include Hannah Houston (Columbia, Tennessee) and Sydney Carson (North Liberty, Indiana).  Houston finished second in this event in 2013 while Carson used a J2 (ages 15-17) National Championship last year as a spring board to an outstanding season highlighted by her recent gold medal at the ISSF Junior Cup.  Together with Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Florida) the three combined for team gold at the Junior Cup as well.  Kendall Reed (Azle, Texas) was an event finalist in 2013 and will be one to watch as well. 

The Men’s Skeet field is highlighted by junior World Team member Christian Elliott (Greenwood, Indiana), who came on this spring to earn his spot on the team.  He did not compete at Junior Olympics last year and was 10th among junior competitors at last year’s National Championships but a great competition in Kerrville, Texas, during the Spring Selection Match has him setup for 2014.  Elliott combined with Phillip Jungman (Caldwell, Texas) and Luis “Taz” Gloria (Tucson) to earn a junior medal at the Junior Cup. Pushing Elliott will be 2013 Junior Olympic medalists Granger DeWitt (Bryan, Texas) and William Dunnebacke (Hampshire, Tennessee) along with J2 Champion John Ferebee III (Macclesfield, North Carolina). 

The Men’s Double Trap field seems to be wide open given the lack of identified star power and the absence of all three Junior World Team members.  Jacob Fritcher (Driftwood, Texas) would seem to be the frontrunner as the returning silver medalist from the event last year.  Hank Garvey (Newburyport, Massachusetts) is formidable opposition as well given his J2 National Championship earned here last year as well as a recent win at the Junior Grand Prix at the Keystone Shooting Park in Elizabethville, Pennsylvania, against a field that included Junior World Champion Ian Rupert (Muncy, Pa.).  In that match, Garvey shot his first 30-for-30 round in the semifinals to advance to the gold-medal final.

2014 NJOSC Schedule 

July 8-9 – Men’s & Women’s Trap

July 12 – Men’s & Women’s Skeet & Double Trap

July 13 – Men’s & Women’s Skeet 

To follow scores throughout the event, click here:

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