The Men’s and Women’s 10m Air Pistol event of the 2013 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) concluded today in Colorado Springs, Colo., with USA Shooting Junior National Team members Wyatt Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho) and Alana Townsend (Kalispell, Mont.) securing national titles.
Focusing all his attention on executing every single shot, Brown used that approach to out-distance his competitors and earn his first national title. Brown shot a two-day total of 1217.7/1309 to finish with 12.9 point advantage over Tyler Volkman (Columbia Falls, Mont.) in a final that featured three USA Shooing National Junior Team members in Brown, Alexander Chichkov (Tampa, Fla.) and Brian Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.).
“I had a shot plan and executed that plan well,” Brown said afterwards. “I’ve really tried to work on the basics, the fundamentals and preparing for matches throughout this past year. I’m trying to give every single shot a chance to be a ’10’ as much as I can get it.”
Brown’s brother, Will, is a member of the USA Shooting National Team and is a resident athlete at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center.
After falling short on three previous attempts to earn a podium position, the 18-year-old Volkman used a strong second day of shooting to do just that and earn a coveted National Team jacket.
“I’m pretty happy about it,” said Volkman. “I’ve been trying for the last three years and it’s been kind of nerve wracking being so close. This year, I felt it was just something I absolutely had to do this time. I’ve worked really hard for this.”
Round one leader Kim faltered on day two of shooting with a 550/600 or nine points lower than his day one high score. However, his overall 1202.4 score was good enough to place him third. High J2 (15-17 year-olds) finisher was Justin Ahn (Diamond Bar, Calif.), who finished sixth overall, while 13-year-old Tony Chung (Diamond Bar, Calif.) earned top scores in the J3 (14-under) category.
It was a showcase of pistol’s not-so-distant future in the women’s division with the top-four finishers already a part of USA Shooting’s Junior National Team. In what USA Shooting National Pistol coach Sergey Luzov deemed one of the most competitive events he’s seen among women at a National Junior Olympic event, Townsend held the edge throughout posting two straight 371s out of 400 to earn a decisive 7.1 point win after her 97.1 final. She was the event’s runner-up last year and the win showcased once again her rise in the sport after winning a silver medal at the recent NRA Intercollegiate Pistol Championships in March. The North Dakota State University student has been selected to compete in the upcoming World Cup USA in Ft. Benning, Ga.
“It’s going to be a great experience and it means a lot to me to be going,” said Townsend of her World Cup selection. “I’m training every day. If I’m not at a range, I’m going to at least dry fire each day. The last year has been a great experience. Getting to work on my shooting with my university team and work with both sets of coaches (college and national) has been a really great experience.”
The day’s best battle featured fellow junior team members Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.) and Darian Shenk (Anneville, Pa.) in a duel for the silver medal. Paterson came into the final with a one-point lead over Shenk but the two would battle down to the final shot before Shenk edged Paterson by .8 points to secure the silver. Defending National Junior Olympic champ and fellow junior team member Taylor Gallegos (Prosper, Texas) put up a finals-best mark of 99.2 to earn the bronze.
Up next in the pistol discipline will be action in sport pistol with men’s final set for Friday evening and the women’s final set for Saturday afternoon. Chung is the returning silver medalist in the men’s event from last year while Gallegos also was the 2012 silver medalist in the women’s division.
Qualifying for the National competition begins at the state level as State Junior Olympic Championships included competition in 47 states utilizing 80 different USA Shooting clubs. The 2013 competition consisted of over 2,200 individual participants in rifle and pistol events. State champions and those who qualify via high scores are invited to Colorado Springs to compete in the NJSOC.
The competition takes place over a three-week period with over 500 of the finest junior shooters in attendance. The top-two finishers in each event earn a spot on USA Shooting’s National Junior Team. The 17-day event features shooting matches in Men’s & Women’s Pistol (Air/Sport) and Rifle (Air/Smallbore).
More information can also be found on the USA Shooting website by clicking on the ‘National Junior Olympic Program’ link located under the ‘Events’ tab. Follow along also using the Twitter Hashtag #NJOSC or via the USA Shooting’s Facebook page. For scores, please visit USA Shooting’s match results page following each competition.
Men’s 10m Air Pistol Finalists
Name (Hometown): Finals: Overall
- Wyatt Brown (Twin Falls, Idaho): 97.7: 1217.7
- Tyler Volkman (Columbia Falls, Mont.): 92.8: 1204.8
- Brian Kim (Los Angeles, Calif.): 93.4: 1202.4
- Alexander Chichkov (Tampa, Fla.): 93.3: 1189.3
- Benjamin Moore (Fort Mill, S.C.): 91.5: 1186.5
- Justin Ahn (Diamond Bar, Calif.): 93.7: 1185.7
- Paul Chong (Fontana, Calif.): 92.6: 1180.6
- Seth Bearjar (Lusby, Md.): 90.4: 1180.4
Women’s 10m Air Pistol Finalists
Name (Hometown): Finals: Overall
- Alana Townsend (Kalispell, Mont.): 97.1: 839.1
- Darian Shenk (Anneville, Pa.): 96.8: 832.8
- Lydia Paterson (Kansas City, Kan.): 95.0: 832.0
- Taylor Gallegos (Prosper, Texas): 99.2: 830.2
- Cindy Chung (Diamond Bar, Calif.): 95.1: 822.1
- Aislin Reynolds (Kansas City, Kan.): 95.3: 819.3
- Alexis Lagan (Boulder City, Nev.): 92.0: 818.0
- Helen Oh (Walnut, Calif.): 86.5: 813.5
Image courtesy USA Shooting