Another event, another title for 18-year-old Ashley Carroll (Solvang, Calif.) after winning top trap honors at the 2013 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) Sunday. Carroll’s third straight major title was just one of the highlights during a busy shooting sports weekend for USA Shooting that featured NJOSC competition, the Meeting of Shooting Hopes international junior competition for 19 Americans, and the conclusion of the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Cyprus.
The 18-year-old Carroll has bested an elite senior field during both Fall and Spring Selection Matches and this weekend it was her turn to claim the title as Junior Olympic champion. She did so with relative ease, walking away with a 10-shot advantage over runner-up Cheyenne Waldrop (Forest Hill, Calif.).
It was a brutal final for the six female participants, which was first delayed by rain, then technical difficulties and then finally a not-so-welcoming head-on wind with gusts ranging between 25-35 mph. The scores reflected the harsh conditions with the 15-year-old Waldrop not letting that or inexperience get in her way to post a high score of 21, which given the conditions might as well been a perfect score. She bested Carroll by two birds on her way to a silver medal and a spot on USA Shooting’s Junior National Team. The four other finalists struggled mightily in the wind conditions with no shooter achieving 15 hit targets.
Need further proof that the Olympic Games help shape and mold dreams, Waldrop is the latest example. Previously a half-hearted American Trap Association (ATA) participant, her focus and drive changed after watching shooting competition at the 2012 Olympic Games. Eleven months later the smile she bore on her face and the jubilation she shared with her family after the final was justification she’d made the right choice.
“This is just really unbelievable,” said Waldrop, who’ll be a junior next year at Del Oro High School in Forest Hill. “I didn’t believe in myself but everyone around me just pulled me through to this moment. This trip was all about just having fun, but to get on the team is amazing to get that goal accomplished. My family is an amazing team and to know that no matter what, even if I’d come in last, they would have been so proud of me. They show me that I can do whatever I put my mind to.”
On the men’s side, T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas) is fast becoming a name to keep your eye. Showing multi-discipline expertise, Bayer captured the Men’s Trap title in a tight contest with three points being all that separated the six finalists. Bayer was the silver medalist in Men’s Skeet at the 2013 Spring Selection Match. By virtue of a 5-4 shoot-off, Alex Rennert (Surfside, Fla.) finished as the silver medalist to earn his way on to the National Junior Team. Rennert defeated Keenan Kremke (Burwell, Neb.) for the junior team spot.
Shooters who finished No. 3-5 earn appointments to the new Junior Olympic Squad, a new performance-based procedure for selecting those team members.
The Men’s Double Trap event will be contested Tuesday, June 18, with 30 participants set to take to the line. Christopher Webster (Bainbridge, Ga.), Trey Hill (Mufreesboro, Tenn.) and Justin Brooks (Perry, Ga.) seem to be in line to take home the trophy given their performances recently. Webster finished fourth in junior competition at the Spring Selection Match and was a bronze medalist in junior competition at last year’s National Championships while Hill and Brooks were the silver and bronze medalists at last year’s NJOSC competition. In the field as well is Bayer, who by virtue of his skeet and trap success has showcased an ability to point a gun no matter the game. Also, keep an eye out for 14-year-old Hank Garvey (Newburyport, Mass.) who made the Junior Final during Spring Selection.
NJOSC Women’s Trap Final Standings
- #Ashley Carroll (Solvang, Calif.), 134
- #Cheyenne Waldrop (Forest Hill, Calif.), 124
- *Rebekah Lowen (Hillsboro, Mo.), 120
- *Amber Culwell (Rosebud, Ark.), 113
- *Haley Colbert (Texarkana, Ark.), 113
- Stephanie Gutierrez (Los Angeles, Calif.), 110
NJOSC Men’s Trap Final Standings
- #T.J. Bayer (College Station, Texas), 139
- #Alex Rennert (Surfside, Fla.), 138
- *Keenan Kremke (Burwell, Neb.), 138
- *Clayton Moniot (Kansas City, Kan.), 137
- *Tyler Lirio (Coolidge, Ga.), 137
- Austin Odom (Benton, Ark.), 136
#National Junior Team members
*Junior Olympic Squad members
Image courtesy USA Shooting