CAMP PERRY, OHIO – Joshua Lehn, 18, of Lemoore, California, like most people his age, can’t afford to travel everywhere in the world to shoot competitively, so this year he passed up an opportunity to shoot highpower matches at Camp Perry for the chance to shoot internationally with the USA Young Eagles at the World Rifle Championships in Brisbane, Australia in October.
|Joshua Lehn, 18, of Lemoore, California will represent the U.S. with fellow shooters from the USA Young Eagles rifle team at the 2011 World Rifle Championships in Brisbane, Australia in October.|
Lehn, who visited Camp Perry in June as a member of the Lemoore High School Navy JROTC sporter air rifle team, said he was looking forward to the privilege of representing the U.S. at the World Championships along with his Under 21 USA Young Eagle teammates.
The recently-graduated Lehn was participating in the 2011 National Three Position Air Rifle Junior Olympic Championship, conducted by USA Shooting and hosted by the Civilian Marksmanship Program’s Marksmanship Center.
|Lehn was a member of the 2010 California Grizzlies-O’Connell team that won the National Junior Infantry Team Trophy. The 2010 team also included Chad Kurgan, Shelby Rosasco, James Macmillan, Sagen Maddalena and Brandon Bayer.|
The California Grizzly (California Rifle and Pistol Association) member said he is planning to warm up his long-range rifle at the Spirit of America Fullbore National Championships in New Mexico in September prior to departing for Brisbane in October. Like the Olympics, the World Rifle Championships occurs every four years at different international locations each time.
Lehn’s teammates on the Under 21 and Under 25 teams include team captain Andy Doney, vice captain Vikki Gaddie, coach Kelly Bachand, and shooters Waylon Burbach, Kyle Doney, Abraham Kamerman, Brian Landwehr, Kyle Liebetrau, Trevor Massey, Nick Mowrer, Jennifer Nyberg, Brianna Rachinski, Michael Storer and Emily Windmassinger.
“I shot long range here (at Camp Perry) with David Tubb in the past – he was my scorekeeper. It was pretty hard but I shot a 150 with 14X. I was pretty excited, because who gets to shoot with David Tubb?
“I started off shooting smallbore with my dad – a little Marlin .22 – he had it before I was born. I eventually got an Anschutz and then I started looking for a bigger challenge,” Lehn said.
He began shooting competitively when he was 10 years old. His positive experiences shooting smallbore encouraged him to try different types of shooting, like service rifle and Palma. He has accomplished many impressive things like in 2009 when he was a shooting member of the National Trophy Team that won the National Trophy Infantry Team match, which resulted in a Congressional citation.
Most recently, Lehn won the Arizona State Palma Junior championship in 2010. He said he started shooting highpower with a friend and found that he was pretty good at prone and learned shooting in the standing and sitting positions.
“When they said I had to go back to 600, I said ‘whoa,’” he said. “What’s wind, you know? I got pretty good at it and got my Master’s card and I’m working toward High Master in highpower.
Lehn already has earned his High Master certification in long range shooting and is striving for perfection. “I want every shot to be perfect. If one day I shoot an 800-80X, I’ll want to come out the next day and do it again,” he added.
The Young Eagles represent the best Under 25 shooting talent in the United States, according to their Web site www.goyoungeagles.com. Frequently, the Young Eagles travel internationally alongside their adult counterparts, the United States Palma® Team, to participate in National Championships and World Championships held in countries abroad.
In the international team matches that the Young Eagles shoot in, a variety of distances and string sizes are encountered. Most generally, international fullbore matches are conducted from 300 meters to 900 meters, with the average string length being 10 shots. These matches are shot with accurized bolt action .308 caliber rifles. These rifles are shot unsupported with iron sights.
Since 2000, the Young Eagles have racked up an impressive record in international competition. Most recently, the Young Eagles placed second in the 2007 U25 World Championships and first in the 2007 U21 World Championships. In 2003, the Young Eagles finished second in the U25 World Championships and second in the U21 World Championships. In 2000, the Young Eagles placed first in the U25 inaugural match.
The name USA Young Eagles is only used when the best composition of the U25 National Rifle Team travels internationally to represent the United States in competition.
For more information about the 2011 World Rifle Championships in Australia, log ontohttp://www.2011.nraa.com.au/index.php?menu=home.