After COVID-19 cancelled all NJOSC competitions last year, the 2021 National Rifle Junior Olympic Shooting Championships will be held at Hillsdale College from May 12-16. Traditionally conducted at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center (OPTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., this year's match will be held at the Margot V. Biermann Center on the Hillsdale campus. Along with its new location, the 2021 Rifle Junior Olympic Championships should prove to be the largest USA Shooting rifle event of the year.
The match is one of many taking place at Hillsdale College this year, including the Shotgun National Junior Olympic Championships and Shotgun National Championships. Both shotgun events will be held at the John Anthony Halter Shooting Sports Center.
To earn an invitation to the National Junior Olympics, competitors at the state level had to shoot well enough to meet this year’s cut-off scores. Of the more than 1,400 state competitors, 487 in total received an invite. Competitors hail from 44 states, with the largest number of athletes from Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Two clubs produced the most athletes—the Arlington Optimist Acorns (Virginia) and ZIA Rifle and Pistol Club (New Mexico). The youngest athletes include Shannon Moriarty (Women’s Air Rifle, Great Mills, Md.), Ella Lee (Women’s Smallbore, Roxbury, Mass.), Gavin Carrizales (Men’s Air Rifle, Scottsbluff, Neb.) and Parker Sullivan (Men’s Smallbore, Wayne, Minn.).
Over 30 collegiate student-athletes from 14 universities around the country will also compete. The below schools will have athletes in attendance.
University of Kentucky
U.S. Air Force Academy
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
University of North Georgia
University of Memphis
West Virginia University
Texas Christian University
Univ. of Kentucky student-athletes U.S. Olympic Shooting Team air rifle shooters Will Shaner (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Mary Tucker (Sarasota, Fla.) will compete at their last Junior Olympic National Championships this year. Tucker tied the Women’s Air Rifle highest qualification score of 598 with Calista Smoyer (Slatington, Pa.) and shot the sole highest qualifying score in Women’s Smallbore Rifle with a score of 594. Shaner tied the Men’s Air Rifle highest qualifying score of 597 with Olympic Alternate Matt Sanchez (Tampa, Fla.). In addition, Shaner tied the Men’s Smallbore Rifle qualifying score of 586 with Andrew Duross (Marlboro, Mass.).
Entry fees are $100 per event. Learn more about the 2021 USA Shooting National Rifle Junior Olympic Championships at the USA Shooting website.