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USA Shooting Wraps Up Shotgun “Fun” Nationals and Colorado State Junior Olympic event in Colorado Springs, Colorado

USA Shooting wrapped up Shotgun “Fun” Nationals and Colorado State Junior Olympics events which spanned the entirety of two weeks at the International Shooting Park/Ft. Carson. Members of the Tokyo 202One Olympic Shotgun Team, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Soldiers, and junior and senior competitors from around the country took part in the eventCOVID-19 precautions were put in place including but not limited to social distancing, only allowing staff in the clubhouse, and frequently cleaning common surfaces. 

The events included Colorado State Junior Olympics for skeet and trap as well as two open events including 250 trap and skeet targets over three days each where competitors won prizes from partners like SKB Cases, Federal Ammunition, Orca Coolers, Shaklee, Talo (Ruger 10-22), Seth McGinn Can Cookers and many more. 

Prior to both Colorado State JO and open events was a junior camp funded by a generous anonymous donation as well as Glassen Foundation. Junior athletes invited to the camp were those that would have been on the traveling Junior National Team this year but missed out due to COVID-19 restrictions and cancellations. Both skeet and trap junior camps welcomed around 15 athletes who spent three days together with National Coach Jay Waldron as well as notable coaches like Lance Bade and Joe Buffa 

Skeet Fun-Nationals and Colorado State JOs kicked off the first week filled with big personalities and big scores!  

Sam Simonton, Tokyo 2021 Alternate took the gold for the weekend and did so while taking three college exams.  

"I think it’s been 2020. This year so much has changed for me. I’ve had to deal with things I haven’t wanted to over and over. It’s just taught me how to handle so much,” said Sam Simonton. “So many things are going on in the world and in my life that I may or may not be able to control. But when I step in that box, I’ve had to teach myself that everything else doesn’t matter. On Friday I was still on the field when my exam started. I was STRESSED. But worrying about my exam when I’m trying to shoot doesn’t help. So, I’ve had to learn to allow myself to focus on one thing at a time, the one thing I can control in that moment." 

On the men’s side, the AMU swept the podium with Dustan Taylor taking home the gold.  

Maybe the most notable highlight was Tokyo 2021 Team Member Phillip Jungman shooting a perfect 125 the first day of the event and finishing with his highest score to-date of 248/250. The tradition of shooting the hat of the athlete who scores a perfect round in competition took place a handful of times over the weekend but was kicked off by Phillips impressive and perfect day one.  

"Shooting my best score ever coming up on the Olympic year is a huge confidence booster for me,” said Phillip JungmanHaving been unable to compete since the Olympic Trials earlier this spring, a confidence booster was just what I needed. Immediately after the Olympic Trials, I was dealing with some back issues that had me near bedridden for a few days... Thanks to some good Physio work, and consistent rehab, I have the pep in my step back for the first time in months. I can now ride this new wave of success and health into 2021 to prepare for the games."  

As soon as all our skeet athletes left, the junior trap camp started early the next morning and Trap Fun-Nationals followed. USA Shooting welcomed over 10 junior athletes from Northern Lights Shooting club in Alaska as well as three Tokyo 2021 Shotgun Athletes: Maddy Bernau, Brian Burrows and Derrick Mein.  

The Trap Fun-Nationals kicked things off with a drop in by the Air Force Parachute Team (Wings of Blue) accompanying the National Anthem as well as an Army Helicopter fly by featuring former National Team member Shane Herman.  Our shooting community supported this fun event with a target-a-thon spearheaded by John and Michelle Wilson. The couple pledged fifty cents per target broken throughout the competition. Jerome and Syndie DeSalme, Marshall McKinney, Stacy and Dakota Boyer, Larry and Nathan Brandmeyer and multiple other anonymous donors joined in on the fun and ended up raising over $30,000 for USA Shooting program.  It’s not too late if you’d like to make a pledge, contact Jay or Sharee Waldron. 

Heading into the final round, junior Logan Lucas tied with USAMU athlete Alex Rennert but pulled ahead by three targets to secure bib number one in the finals. Logan ended the weekend in third place next to two seasoned USAMU athletes, Alex Rennert and Glenn Eller. Jessica Stallings took gold for the women, along with USAMU athlete Alicia Gough and 2021 Olympian Maddy Bernau respectively.  

"I've been really working hard on executing some key points whether I break the target or not, it seems to be finally paying off,” said Jessica Stallings“Finals for me was a highlight because although it didn't start the best, it finally came around and ended pretty good. Super excited that Alex did so good! It was nice to be back-to-back champions together. I want to give special recognition to Alicia and Maddie for giving a great performance as well, and a big thank you to USA Shooting for a wonderful FUN tournament." 

The three Olympians purchased and signed two hats for the two youngest competitors Ajay Jarrett and Paige Gann. Both athletes left wearing their new swag with huge smiles.  

In lieu of having a typical National and Junior Olympic Championships in which team positions are awarded, USA Shooting is proud to have offered this Fun-National competition which prompted big scores, encouraged comradery, and provided an opportunity to compete in this uncertain time. USA Shooting began sanctioning events again on June 1 and is continuing to sanction state and local events and recommends clubs follow specific guidelines from their individual state’s governor and the CDC. 

Event photos can be found on Flickr HERE. Results can be found HERE.

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