Next Generation Set to Compete at 2016 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (June 10, 2016)

The future begins now for USA Shooting and over 200 of the top junior shotgun competitors from around the nation with the 2016 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) set to begin Tuesday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

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 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).

 Athletes earned their way to Junior Olympics by qualifying through state qualifying matches with 21 states conducting competition for 515 participants. Shooters from 31 states will be represented at this year’s Junior Olympics.  The Lone Star State will be well-represented with 23 athletes participating from Texas. 

Three National, eight Junior National and five Junior Olympic Team members are expected to compete.  The youngest male competitor is 10-year-old Matthew Spurlin (Surprise, Arizona).  He’ll shoot double trap alongside his 12-year-old brother Nicklaus. The youngest female competitor is 11-year-old Carey Garrison (Crossville, Tennessee), who is set to compete in both trap and skeet.  She’s one of 36 competitors who will shoot more than one discipline. 

The top-two finishers in Women’s Trap are back from last year with Emily Hampson (Saint Charles, Missouri) looking to defend her title while Ellie Roditis (McKenzie, Tennessee) looks to gain one more step on the podium from 2015. Hampson won the 2015 Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany.  Roditis rode the momentum of a second-place finish all the way to a Junior World Championship bronze medal. Be on the look-out for Cheyenne Waldrop (Forest Hill, California), the 2013 Junior Olympic champion, who has two top-four finishes at the past two Junior World Cups, including second to Hampson in 2015. Waldrop was also the top junior finisher during the two-part Olympic Team Trials process. 

The top returning 2015 Junior Olympic finisher in Men’s Trap is National Team member Dustin McGowen (Greenwood, Arkansas), who finished fourth before going on to win 2015 Fall Selection.  Chris Haire (Anna, Illinois) and Garrett Beissner (Hondo, Texas) each had strong showings during the last stage of Olympic Team Trials recently in Tillar, Arkansas, and will be in the mix to take home some NJOSC hardware.   

The most exciting action might very well come in Men’s Double Trap where nine of the top 11 NJOSC finishers from 2015 are set to compete including champion Jesse Haynes-Lewis (Nahant, Massachusetts) and National Team members Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana) and McGowen. National Junior Team member Hank Garvey (Newburyport, Massachusetts), a 2015 Junior Nationals silver medalist, will also look to emerge among this strong group after being the top junior during Olympic Team Trials. 

Katie Jacob competing in her first career World Cup in Nicosia, Cyprus. Photo courtesy of ISSF.After a three-year reign as Junior Olympic champion, Dania Vizzi (Odessa, Florida) has officially departed the junior ranks leaving the door open in Women’s Skeet. Sixteen-year-old Katie Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) seems the likely candidate to step in given an impressive run since last summer’s runner-up finish that led her to being appointed to the National Team recently.  She was sixth at the 2015 Junior World Championships, third overall in Fall Selection, earned a World Cup bronze medal in Cyprus in March followed by a Junior World Cup win in Suhl, Germany.  Learn more about Jacob’s rise in Skeet. Look for Sydney Carson (North Liberty, Indiana), the 2015 World Championships Junior silver medalist, to be contending for top honors as well.  

In Men’s Skeet, the Keldsen brothers, Isaac and Logan (Walkerton, Indiana), are the top returning medalists from 2015.  Likely to contend will also be Aaron Wilson (Lansing, Kansas), a fourth-place finisher in 2015 Fall Selection, as well Junior Team member Trey Wright (Albany, Georgia) and Junior Squad member Garrett Coles (Fannin, Texas). 

The top-two athletes in each event earn a spot on USA Shooting’s National Junior Team for 2016. 

2016 NJOSC Schedule

Tuesday, June 14 – M/W Trap, 75 targets

Wednesday, June 15 – M/W Trap, 50 targets + Final

Thursday, June 16 – M/W Skeet & Men’s Double Trap OFFICIAL TRAINING

Friday, June 17 – M/W Skeet, 75 targets; Men’s Double Trap + Final

Saturday, June 18 – M/W Skeet, 50 targets + Final

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