The Men’s Rifle competition at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) in Colorado Springs, CO, ended April 11 with the Three-Position Rifle event. Top junior shooters from across the country battled for the chance to represent the United States at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Championship later this summer in Changwon, South Korea.
Taking the top spot by 15 selection points (and just two days shy of his 18th birthday) was Peter Fiori, Jr. (Lebanon, NJ). Over the two days of qualification, Fiori shot two excellent scores of 1161 and 1160. Though he didn’t need the additional points, he capped things off with a win in the lone Final for an additional eight points.
“I came in with high hopes and I was pretty confident in myself so I guess it paid off!” said Fiori. “Definitely more confident than I was last year [where I finished fourth]. The last couple of years I focused on what the score was going to be, but this time I just focused on shooting.”
Picking up his second National Junior Olympic silver medal and was 16 year old Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, CO). On the first day of qualification, he shot a score of 1159. Shaner was the lone junior male rifle athlete to qualify for the World Championship in both Air and Three-Position Rifle.
“[The] Smallbore match was a bit longer and kind of rough, but I kind of pulled back second day for the Final to secure my spot in second place,” Shaner remarked. “I’ll be the only [junior] male rifle shooter shooting both events [at Worlds] so I just need to get back to work and start preparing … In Finals, you just need to kind of let loose and do what you know how to do!”
Winning the bronze was Ohio State University sophomore Jacob Buchanan (Spring, TX). His score of 1162 on day two was the highest qualification score of the match.
“The first day was rough. I came down with a stomach bug or something,” said Buchanan. “But the second day I came back feeling better, got some energy, prone, standing—it all went pretty well—so I couldn’t have asked for anything more! I’m pretty excited [to go to hte World Championships]. It’s what I came out here to do—[it's a] pretty good way to end my last Junior Olympics.”
The NJOSC includes the top 32 percent of all competitors in 2018 with invitees that either won their state championship or were selected based on a score they attained. Invitations were sent to 763 athletes representing 49 states. The competitors range in age from 10 to 20 years old, and are classified according to age as J1 (ages 18-20), J2 (ages 15-17) or J3 (ages 14 and younger).
Nationwide, 17 percent of the Men’s Three-Position Rifle Junior Olympic competitors earned an invitation to this prestigious match. Sixty athletes competed in the Men’s Three-Position Rifle competition. All of the athletes earned invitations to the match based on their performances at state-level Junior Olympic competitions.
Read the results of the National Junior Olympics Women’s Three-Position Rifle competition.