Juniors Unite for NJOSC with Moscow on their Mind

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (June 9, 2017)

The National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) for Shotgun gets underway for 229 athletes beginning Monday at the International Shooting Park just outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

The allure of a junior podium is always strong, but the opportunity to represent Team USA at the upcoming International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Shotgun World Championships is of primary importance.  This year’s NJOSC kicks-off the selection for the Junior World Team that will compete in Moscow, Russia August 30-September 11. Selection combines the results from NJOSC and the first course of fire during the upcoming USA Shooting National Championships.

Three National Team athletes will be present including Sydney Carson (North Liberty, Indiana), Colton Evans (Crawford, Georgia) and Emma Williams (Savannah, Tennessee).  They all earned their rank by results fired at last year’s USA Shooting Nationals. 

National Team member Sydney Carson competing at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Tillar, Arkansas.A two-time Junior World Championship Finalist and 2015 Junior World Champs silver medalist, Carson was the National Champion in Women’s Skeet after finishing as the runner-up at the 2016 NJOSC. While Carson headlines the Women’s Skeet competitors, she’ll have to contend with Samantha Simonton (Gainesville, Georgia) a third-place finisher at NJOSC and junior runner-up at the 2016 National Championships.  Also likely to contend will be Jacenta Jacob (Rochester, Michigan) following a third-place finish among juniors at last year’s National Championship.  Pay attention also to 15-year-old Austen Smith (Keller, Texas). She missed just two Qualification targets during the recent Spring Selection Match in Fort Benning, Georgia to finish second in qualifying behind none other than Kim Rhode. 

In Men’s Skeet, Evans earned National Team status based on a third-place finish at last year’s National Championships and continued that hot shooting into the first big competition of 2017 where hehad the second-best junior score during May’s Spring Selection Match.  Also having a say during the match will be Christian Elliott (USAMU/Greenwood, Indiana) and Nic Moschetti (Broomfield, Colorado). Elliott was the high qualifier during Spring Selection, finishing second overall after Finals had concluded. He’s already tied for first for the open class in World Championships qualifying.  Moschetti was the runner-up at this match a year ago.  Two other athletes that could make some noise might be Aaron Wilson (Lansing, Kansas) and Elijah Ellis (College Station, Texas) as well.  Wilson was the 2016 junior bronze medalist at Nationals while Ellis was the 2016 NJOSC bronze medalist.

Williams moved up to the National Team ranks in Women’s Trap following a bronze medal at last year’s National Championships. She’ll have plenty of competition in trying to earn her first NJOSC title including returning national champion Emily Underwood (Quitman, Arkansas).  Underwood was the top junior finisher during Spring Selection as well. Other likely contenders will include Stephanie Gutierrez (Valencia, California), who has three-straight bronze-medal finishes at NJOSC as well as National Junior Champion Cheyenne Waldrop (Forest Hill, California).

Sevin Layer (Palm Harbor, Florida) would seem to be the man to beat in Men’s Trap.  He’s the National Junior Champion and just won Spring Selection.  He’s currently ranked second in the race for an open class World Championships team spot as well.  Ready to try and outshoot Layer is junior runner-up from a year ago Chris Haire (Anna, Illinois). 2016 NJOSC silver medalist Dustin McGowen (Greenwood, Arkansas) will also likely contend. 

Also, don’t forget about those successful athletes making the conversion to Trap after the ISSF and IOC eliminated Double Trap from the Olympic program. Haire is among them along with Junior Champion Hank Garvey (Newburyport, Massachusetts), Dale Royer (Jackson, Montana), Jacob Hochhausler (Tampa, Florida) and Tyler Taylor (Wickenburg, Arizona).  This will be a good match to see how that switch has been going. 

All competitors will shoot 125 targets in Qualification with the top-six earning a Finals bid. 

2017 NJOSC Schedule

  • Monday, June 12 – Trap 75 Targets
  • Tuesday, June 13 – Trap 50 Targets + Final
  • Wednesday, June 14 – Skeet OTR
  • Thursday, June 15 – Skeet 75 Targets
  • Friday, June 16 – Skeet 50 Targets + Final
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