Throwback Thursday: Brothers Rule 2006 Junior Olympic Championships

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posted on March 3, 2016
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Editor's note: For this week's #ThrowbackThursday, we're spotlighting the story of two brothers, initially published by NRA InSights in June 2006. Joseph and Jonathan, we'd love to hear what you're doing now, 10 years later!

Joseph and Jonathan Hall of Carrollton, GA, took the top podium spots in two out of the three men’s rifle events at the 2006 National Junior Olympic Championships, held Mar. 17 to 22 at the Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“We push each other,” Jonathan said. “The thought of beating my older brother in something keeps me motivated. And it has definitely made us both better.”

Jonathan, 18, has been one of the nation’s best air rifle shooters for the past couple of years, stepping up his game at the 2004 National Championships where he placed third overall. On Mar. 19, Jonathan struck gold in men’s air, shooting a 1,187 qualifying score and a 102.8 in the final for a total score of 1,289.8. He finished more than a point higher than his next competitor, Christopher Abalo of Glendora, California. Abalo, a student athlete at West Point Military Academy, finished with a 1,186 qualifying score and a 102.4 final. Last year’s Junior Olympic air rifle champion, Wesley Hess of Humble, Texas, finished third with a 1,178 qualifying and a 101.4 final.

Two days later, older brother Joseph Hall, 20, defended his 3-Position title, with another gold-medal finish. Joseph has been a strong contender in every rifle event for the past three years, and has recently started to focus on 3-Position rifle, with the goal of making the 2008 Olympic Games.

“Jon has been focusing on air rifle, while I have been focusing on smallbore,” Joseph said. “We live to compete against each other, but at this point we need to focus on the event that we have a better chance at winning in, and we are both looking toward making the Olympic Team in 2008.”

Joseph shot a 2,323 qualifying and a 99.3 in the final for a 2,422.3 total score. Thomas Santelli, of Pennsylvania, came in second, with a 2,310 qualifying score and a 98.6 in the final for a second-place finish of 2,408.6. Abalo rounded out the top three. He shot a 2,304 qualifying score and a 100.5 in the final for a 2,404.5 total.

Abalo took the top-spot in men’s prone with a huge 1,191 qualifying score, and a 102.8 final for a total 1,293.8. Santelli once again came up with second, finishing more than seven points behind Abalo with a qualifying score of 1,183 and a final of 103.3. In third place was Jason Dardas of Essexville, MI, with a 1,182 qualifying and a 102.4 in the final for a 1,284.4.

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