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Junior Olympic Championships: Smith, Moschetti Win Skeet Titles

Junior Olympic Championships: Smith, Moschetti Win Skeet Titles

The final day of the 2018 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) for Shotgun concluded with the 2018 Skeet champions receiving honors at the International Shooting Park at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs, CO. Austen Smith is this year’s Women’s Skeet champion, and Nic Moschetti won the Men’s Skeet championship.

Both the Women’s and Men’s events had the gold and silver medals decided for both Finals by one target. For the women, competing in windy conditions, Smith (Keller, TX) narrowly edged out the top finisher in Qualification, Sam Simonton (Gainesville, GA) to win the gold with 54 in the Final. Simonton had a 121 Qualification score and 53 in the Final. Last year’s NJOSC champion, Jacenta Jacob (Rochester, MI), finished in third place for the bronze medal, scoring 115 plus 40 in the Final.

“This match was crazy!” said Smith. “There was a lot of wind and I didn’t shoot exactly what I wanted to, but it worked out in the end. On the last shot I was shaking like crazy.”

2018 NJOSC Women's Skeet Top 3
The top three in Women's Skeet: (l. to r.) Sam Simonton, Austen Smith and Jacenta Jacob


The Men’s Skeet competition had the top finisher in Qualification, Eli Christman (Hixson, TN), battled his training partner, Moschetti (Broomfield, CO) for the NJOSC Men’s title.

“It’s been quite the whirlwind, literally,” said Moschetti. “It’s been really windy and hot these last few days and it’s made competition intense. Scores were up and down all over the place … It was my last Junior Olympics so I was glad I could go out on top.”

2018 NJOSC Men's Skeet Top 3
The top three in Men's Skeet: (l. to r.) Eli Christman, Nic Moschetti and Trey Wright


It wasn’t until target no. 56 during the Final, when Christman finally missed a bird, that Moschetti would defend his NJOSC title, beating Christman 54 to 53. Moschetti won last year in a shoot off with Christman. The 2016 NJOSC champ, Trey Wright (Albany, GA) was the bronze medalist with a Finals score of 44.

“Christman and I have trained together for the past month so I figured it would come down to he and I, just with how we’ve been shooting,” Moschetti added. “It’s fun getting to shoot against my training partner. I liked that it got down to one target between us—shows [that] we’re both strong shooters and made for a good Final.”

Story and photos courtesy of USA Shooting

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