Sixteen & Golden -- Marsh Doubles to Dominate Women’s Rifle at NJOSC

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 22, 2015)

Remember the name – Elizabeth Marsh.  She’s got game and this week the 16-year-old Arkansas native proved it in Women’s Rifle competition to kick-off the 2015 National Junior Olympic Championships (NJOSC). 

NJOSC Double Gold Medalist Elizabeth MarshOn Tuesday, she claimed top honors in Air Rifle, and today she completed a dominating performance with an impressive Smallbore (.22 caliber) display. She was six points better in qualification and then shot a world-level Final, besting her nearest opponent by 12.1 points. In fact, her Finals score of 459.3 is 3.5 points better than the current Junior World Record (455.8) set by China’s Ruijiao Pei at last year’s World Championship. 

Marsh’s confidence and arrival seemingly took place back in February on these same ranges competing at the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships. In an event that included several National Team members, she won the Three-Position Smallbore event and finished fourth in Air Rifle. Catherine Green in 2012 was the last NJOSC double gold medalist in women’s rifle competition. 

Her latest mentor, three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons, offered this when asked how Marsh has found such success so early in her career: 

She has a ton of things going for her. First, she likes to shoot and wants to go far with it. From the get-go when she was shooting sporter airgun, her dad, Rick, had Troy Bassham coach her. Troy did a very good job at getting her started on the right path. He got her into solid positions and immediately started teaching her mental skills. That foundation is a big reason why she’s doing what she is now at age 16. Next, she has a great support system behind her. Her parents are very involved (in a good way) and her dad is with her on the range almost every day. Rick is a super smart guy who knows what it takes to be successful and is using those skills to help with Liz’s shooting.  With all of us coaching her, we all bring different skills sets and experiences to the table to help her because no one person knows everything. 

Her approach is great. She has an excellent outlook of wanting to do very well, but not to the point of wanting it too much that she gets in her own way. She’s a good sportswoman, too, and is happy to shake someone else’s hand when they do well. On top of that, she’s not afraid to work. She trains hard and she trains smart.   

All of the above things set her apart from the average shooter her age. It’s almost like the perfect storm.  As far as the future, that’s totally up to her. I’m confident she is capable of achieving whatever she wants so long as the motivation and love for the game is always there.

Personally, it’s a pleasure to work with her. She’s a great young lady that’s excited about going after crazy dreams. I’m having a great time watching her grow as an athlete and a person.”

Finishing second in the Three-Position Rifle competition to earn her USA Shooting Team designation was Hanna Carr (Versailles, Kentucky) while Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) was awarded the bronze medal. Carr will be a Kentucky Wildcat next year while Thrasher is headed for West Virginia University. 

Marsh wasn’t the only impressive performance and double gold-medal producer this week. The youngest competitor in the field at age 11, Katie Zaun (Buffalo, North Dakota) stood atop the podium twice in the J3 (14 years or younger) category. Molly McGhin (Griffin, Georgia) finished second twice to Zaun. In the J2 age bracket (15-17 years of age), Casey Lutz (Meridian, Idaho) was a double medalist as well, earning silver in Smallbore, bronze in Air.  Another notable performance was put forth by Ole Miss Rifle product Jessica Haig (Constableville, New York) as she was only other athlete besides Marsh to make both event finals, finishing fifth in Air and seventh in Three-Position. 

In Tuesday’s Air Rifle conclusion, Marshled from start to finish with the top qualification score and finished that by confidently coming out on top in a back-and-forth battle in the final with eventual second-place finisher Rhiann Travis (Weatherford, Texas).  Marsh shot the top qualification score of the match with a 416.1 on Day 1 while Travis, 17, was the best shooter on Day 2 with a 415.4. Marsh reaffirmed her spot on the National Junior Team with the win, while Travis earns a first-time appointment on USA Shooting’s National Junior Team for her efforts. NCAA Rifle champ and Nebraska Cornhusker Rachel Martin (Peralta, New Mexico) finished third. 

Air rifle medalists in the J2 category included gold medalist Grace Taschuk (Andover, Minneapolis), silver medalist Kayla Gadeken (Seward, Nebraska) with Lutz third. Medalists in the J3 category included Zaun and McGhinfollowed by bronze medalist Noelle Meals (Paducah, Kentucky). 

Three-position medalists in the J2 category included gold medalist Morgan Phillips (Salisbury, Maryland), Lutz in second followed by Cassidy Fairman (Indiana, Pennsylvania) in third.  After Zaun and McGhin, Raquel Coburn (Salem, Oregon) was the bronze medalist in the J3 category.  

For full women’s results, click here.  View the NJOSC photo album right here.

NJOSC Pistol Preview

Now that the best junior women’s rifle shooters have got things warmed up at the USA Shooting Center, it’s time to welcome the arrival of the best junior male and female pistol competitors.  NJOSC moves into its second week when competition kicks-off Saturday with Men’s Sport Pistol.

NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Champs Top Shooter and 2014 NJOSC Sport Pistol Bronze Medalist Glenn ZimmermanSeven of the 12 medalists from 2014 return including reigning national champions Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas) and Irina Andrianova (Schaumburg, Illinois). Paterson, a National Team member, shot a 386 qualifying score to earn her invite.  The hottest shooter coming in might just be reigning Junior National Champion and 2013 NJOSC Air Pistol champ Wyatt Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) after winning both Free and Air Pistol events at the recent NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships. He shot the top air pistol qualifying score (565) to earn the invitation.  You can hear Brown preview the pistol competition as the USA Shooting Spotlight on Thursday’s Cam & Co. radio/television show live at 5:35 pm ET only on the Sportsmans Channel. 

Other 2014 NJOSC medalists include Cindy Chung (Diamond Bar, California) Taylor Gallegos (Prosper, Texas),Ohio State freshman Glenn Zimmerman (Waterville, Ohio) who earned top individual shooter honors over Brown at the Intercollegiate Pistol Championship , Brian Kim (Los Angeles, California) and Justin Ahn (Diamond Bar, California).  Also set to compete is junior Nationals silver medalist and top sport pistol qualifier Helen Oh (Walnut, California). 

The nine athletes listed above as well as other expected Junior Olympic attendees Daniel Cheon (La Mirada, California), Tony Chung (Diamond Bar, California) and Kellie Foster (Rockdale, Texas) were all 2014 Junior World Team members. Cheon comes in having shot the top qualifying score (572) in Sport Pistol.

The youngest men’s competitor is 12-year-old Dylan Markwardt (West Fargo, North Dakota). The youngest women’s competitor is 11-year-old Elena Vona (Perrineville, New Jersey).

2015 NJOSC Schedule

M/W Pistol

Saturday, April 25 – Men’s Sport Pistol Qualification + Finals

Sunday, April 26 – Women’s Sport Pistol Qualification + Finals

Monday, April 27 – Men’s/Women’s Air Pistol Match 1

Tuesday, April 28 – Men’s/Women’s Air Pistol Match 2 + Finals

Men’s Rifle

Friday, May 1 – Air Rifle Match 1

Saturday, May 2 – Air Rifle Match 2 + Finals

Sunday, May 3 – Smallbore 3P & Prone Qualification

Monday, May 4 – Smallbore 3P & Prone Qualification

Tuesday, May 5 – Smallbore 3P & Prone Qualification + Finals 

Those not in attendance can view live targets throughout the competition through our YouTube channel: in the “Live Events” section. For schedules and a complete list of participants, click here:


Categories: Press Releases, 2015 National Junior Olympic Championships