Pistol Champions Crowned at National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (April 25, 2016)

The final week of the three-week long National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) concluded today at the U.S. Olympic Training Center with the crowning of champions in Men’s and Women’s Air and Sport Pistol.

Fresh off competing at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 19-year-old Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kansas) flew home to Kansas for a few days, then came right to Colorado Springs where she easily claimed the top spot in the Women’s Air Pistol competition for the third year in a row.

“I had to come back for my last JOs!” Paterson said. “I had to experience it and have my good farewell. Now I’m moving on to World Cup Munich in May and Olympic Trials in June. This match experience is really good for me so coming down and shooting two extra matches plus a Final, it’s really helping prepare me for all of these other matches to come!”

Paterson was joined on the podium by fellow National Team member, 14-year-old Carson Saabye (Larkspur, Colorado) who not only took silver in the Women’s Air Pistol event, but also claimed gold in the Women’s Sport Pistol event just two days earlier.

“Sport Pistol has kind of been more fun lately,” said Saabye, who considers herself more of an Air Pistol specialist. “I just got back from a spring break trip where we worked with [Pistol National Assistant Coach] In Kim and I just learned a lot, things clicked and made more sense and I just had a lot more fun! Sport has kind of been a nice relief from Air lately. I shot my average [in Sport] - there were some spotty parts - but it just kind of worked out!”

Hannah Walsh (Wolford, North Dakota) rounded out the top three with a bronze in Women’s Air Pistol. In Women’s Sport Pistol, Katelyn Abeln (Douglasville, Georgia) won silver, along with a spot on the National Junior Team. Kellie Foster (Rockdale, Texas) would claim the Women’s Sport Pistol bronze.

National Junior Team slots were awarded to the top-two finishers in each event, only if those finishers were not already part of the National or National Junior Teams.

The Ohio State freshman Anthony McCollum (Purdin, Missouri) claimed his first NJOSC title today when he won the Men’s Air Pistol event. McCollum credited his training with The Ohio State Pistol Team during the school year with his Air Pistol win.

“For my last year as a Junior coming to the Junior Olympics, this is the best experience I could have ever imagined,” McCollum said. “I did well in Sport – not quite as well as I hoped – but came back in Air determined, I performed to the best of my ability, and here I am with a gold medal!” Jack Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia) won silver in Air Pistol and Charles Platt (Colorado Springs, Colorado) won bronze.

Leverett’s younger brother, 14-year-old Henry Leverett (Bainbridge, Georgia) won the Men’s Sport Pistol title on Friday - a title his older brother had won the year before. He was joined on the podium by Platt, who took silver in Sport, and Jack Leverett, who won bronze.

For their top-two finishes, McCollum, Platt and Henry Leverett earned appointments to the National Junior Team.

More than 768 Junior-aged athletes (under the age of 21) competed at the NJSOC over 17 days in the rifle and pistol events. These athletes qualified for an invitation to the NJOSC with top scores in their respective State Junior Olympic Championships.  The competitors range in age from 12 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). The NJOSC for Shotgun will take place in Colorado Springs June 13-18.

For complete Pistol results from NJOSC, please visit:

For complete results from the NJSOC for Rifle/Pistol, please visit: 

View photos from NJOSC here:


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