After three weeks of competition, the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) concluded Monday, April 25 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center with the announcement of the Men's and Women's Air and Sport Pistol champions. The Women's Air Pistol winner was no surprise, as Kansas City's 19-year-old Lydia Paterson claimed the top spot for the third year in a row. Also on the podium was 14-year-old Carson Saabye, of Larkspur, Colorado, who nabbed the second spot in Air Pistol after having taken the gold in the Women's Sport Pistol event two days previously. Rounding out the top three in Air Pistol was Wolford, North Dakota's Hannah Walsh.
“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!”
The Men's Air Pistol winners were Anthony McCollum of Purdin, Missouri, who took top honors. Bainbridge, Georgia's Jack Leverett and Colorado Springs' Charles Platt garnered second and third place, respectively. Said McCollum, “For my last year as a Junior coming to the Junior Olympics, this is the best experience I could have ever imagined.” He continued, “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!”
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.
More than 768 Junior 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: http://www.usashooting.org/library/Competitions/2016_RP_JO/Final_Pistol_Results.pdf.