USA Shooting: Braden Peiser Crowned Two-Time Junior Olympic Champion

Braden Peiser lands Smallbore Rifle and Air Rifle titles at the 2024 USA Shooting Junior Olympic Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., Apr. 6-11.

by
at USA Shooting posted on April 22, 2024
Peiser2024 Usashooting 1
Braden Peiser, center, is the 2024 USA Shooting Junior Olympic Champion in Men’s Smallbore Rifle (pictured) and Men’s Air Rifle.
Photo by Brittany Nelson

Braden Peiser of San Angelo, Texas, earned the Junior Olympic Champion title in both Men’s Air Rifle and Men’s 50m Smallbore Rifle at the 2024 USA Shooting Men’s Rifle National Junior Olympic Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 6-11.

“I feel pretty good,” Peiser said about his achievement. “It’s been a long season. We just wrapped up the NCAA season about a month ago then had [Olympic] trials part three and then the CAT Games. It’s been a push to get here. I am quite happy with the results and am looking forward to a break after this.”

Peiser, who shoots for the University of Kentucky, qualified for the National Junior Olympic Championships in both events at the state level before receiving an invite to the national level. More than 150 men from across 41 states competed at the National Junior Olympic Championships this year. The 2024 competition marked the seventh National Junior Olympic Championships Peiser has ever competed in. He began at just 12 years old in 2017. (Additionally, Peiser was the runner-up in the 2024 NCAA air rifle individual championship.)

“It certainly has been beneficial to have the experiences and to get to the point where I come in and feel familiar with things,” Peiser, the 2024 CAT Games gold medalist in the Men’s 50m Smallbore Team event, said. “Each one has been beneficial.”

Peiser competed in Men’s 50m Smallbore Rifle first where competitors shoot 20 shots each in the positions of kneeling, prone and standing to equal a 60-shot match. Peiser shot two identical match scores of 582 for an overall total of 1164, which landed him in the final. 

In the final, Peiser had a strong showing to defeat Griffin Lake of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, who finished second. Placing third behind Lake was Chris Jennings of Floyds Knobs, Indiana. 

Men’s Air Rifle was shot after smallbore and consisted of 60 shots total all in the standing position from 10meters away. Peiser shot two full qualification matches, resulting in scores of 627.2 and 629.1 for the highest overall total of the match with 1256.3. In the final, Peiser topped the podium once again by besting Hayden Bell of Bixby, Oklahoma, who finished second, along with Jennings who finished third.

At just 19 years old, Peiser already has six international medals, including a gold in the Junior Men’s 50m Smallbore Rifle Team event at the 2022 International Shooting Sports Federation World Championships. His success has carried over into his collegiate shooting career. During his freshman year at Kentucky, he earned a Great American Rifle Conference gold medal in air rifle and earned a Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association All-American honor for Second-Team Air Rifle.

The 2024 National Junior Olympic Championships also awarded medals in 18 and under (U18) and 15 and under (U15) age categories. See all awardees below.

Men’s 50m Smallbore Rifle

Overall medalists

  1. Braden Peiser- Gold
  2. Griffin Lake- Silver
  3. Chris Jennings- Bronze

U18

  1. Tyler Wee- Gold
  2. Jacob Wisman- Silver
  3. Samuel Adkins- Bronze

U15

  1. Logan Sanchez- Gold
  2. Arkin Arranza- Silver
  3. Brady Svinky- Bronze

Men’s Air Rifle

Overall medalists

  1. Braden Peiser- Gold
  2. Hayden Bell- Silver
  3. Chris Jennings- Bronze

U18

  1. Jacob Wisman- Gold
  2. Tyler Wee- Silver
  3. Samuel Adkins- Bronze

U15

  1. Logan Sanchez- Gold
  2. Klein Stanley- Silver
  3. Mausten Stelter- Bronze

A handful of paralympic rifle shooters also participated in the 2024 National Junior Olympic Championships. The following medals were awarded.

R3 10m Air Rifle Prone Mixed SH1

  1. Landon Ruggera- Gold

R5 10m Air Rifle Prone Mixed

  1. Jadon Nafziger- Gold
  2. Savannah Sturdivan- Silver

If you or someone you know is interested in Paralympic shooting, please contact Brenda Silva, the USA Shooting Paralympic Coach at [email protected].

Eley made an appearance at the competition as well and named the 2023 Eley High School All-American Team. The following men received the honor of making the team: Tyler Wee, air rifle and smallbore team; Jack Ogoreuc, smallbore team.

View all official National Junior Olympic Championships scores at this link.

The Junior Olympics mark the first half of the selection procedures for the 2024 International Shooting Sports Federation Junior World Championships, taking place this fall in Lima, Peru. The second half of selection will be the 2024 USA Shooting National Championships in June.

Learn more about USA Shooting at usashooting.org.

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