Miranda Wilder (West Newton, Pa.) and Will Hinton (Dacula, Ga.) delivered outstanding performances at the 2012 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) in Colorado Springs. Wilder captured her fourth NJOSC national title at just 19-years old and Hinton, who has been shooting sporting clays the majority of his life, won his first national title in a shoot-off.
Wilder, who just won the silver medal at the National Championships on July 8, shot a new personal best of 118 qualification targets to enter the final with a five target lead. With a total of 20 targets in the final, she extended her lead and once again secured her spot on the National Junior Team at 138 targets. She will join the Schreiner University Shotgun Team this fall as a freshman.
“I wanted to come out with at least as many targets ahead of my next competitor as I went into it, which was five targets and I came out six ahead,” said Wilder. “I want to thank my parents because they have put a lot of hard work over the years-I’ve been doing this nearly 10 years on the international side-it’s been a blessing and a journey that I have been able to share with them.”
The silver medalist was Brandi Hobbs (Edinboro, Pa.) who edge out Ashley Carroll (Solvang, Calif.) in the final by one target. Hobbs entered the final in the third position, but advanced to the second tallest position on the podium and a spot on the National Junior Team with 20/25 in the final for 132 targets. Carroll finished third with 131 overall. She was followed by National Junior Olympic Shotgun Team (NJOST) member Rebekah Lowen (Hillsboro, Mo.) at 128 targets in fourth, Mary Stapleton(Hayward, Calif.) at 125 in fifth and NJOST member Haley Colbert (Texarkana, Ark.) with 120 targets.
Hinton also shot his personal best thus far in his relatively new international shotgun career-he’s been competing internationally for a little over a year. Hinton trains at USAS Certified Training Center South Georgia Youth Shooting and Bridge Creek Clays. At just 16-years-old, Hinton is a J2 shooter who comes from a sporting clays background. He shot 118 match targets and gained ground in the final with 22/25 targets to tie U.S. Olympic Training Center Resident Athlete Garrett Walters (Burr Oak, Mich.). In a tense shoot-off for the gold and silver, Hinton topped Walters after five targets.
“I knew I could shoot bunker [trap], but I wasn’t expecting to win,” said Hinton, who is a member on the NJOST for Men’s Double Trap. “I just stayed consistent and kept my composure to do the best I could. I was nervous during the shoot-off-anyone who says they aren’t nervous is lying. I shot on this field today and I knew exactly what I had to do to break the targets. My entire family-they are behind me 100% and great supporters-I want to thank them for that.”
Walters finished with the silver and both athletes earned spots on the National Junior Team. The bronze medalist was Corey Spruill (St. Charles, Mo.) with 137 targets. He was followed by Joshua Burge (Weatherford, Texas) with 135 targets. Tyler Lirio (Coolidge, Ga.) finished fifth with 134 andBradley Beckmann (Chesterfield, Mo.) was sixth at 132 targets.
In the J2 Men’s Trap category, Lirio won top honors with 117 targets. Austin Odom (Benton, Ark.) finished second with 115 targets and Nicholas Scholz (Fenton, Mo.) was third with 114 targets. In the Women’s Trap J2 category, Lowen won the gold medal with 111 targets. The silver medalist wasChelsea Mathis (Huntingdon, Tenn.) at 94 targets and Rachael Collins (Cave Creek, Ariz.) was third with 89 targets.
In the Men’s Trap J3 Category, Lynwood Harris (Camilla, Ga.) won the gold with 114 targets. He was followed by Anderson Hambuchen (Maumelle, Ark.) with 103 and Chas Bloom (Mansfield, Ohio) at 101 targets.
The NJOSC action resumes on July 14 with the Men’s Double Trap competition. The match concludes on July 17 with the final day in Men’s and Women’s Skeet. For complete match results and squadding, please visit the National Junior Olympic Program page.
Images courtesy USA Shooting