The National Three-Position Air Rifle Championship concluded July 1 in Camp Perry, Ohio, and with that the doors to the USA Shooting National Junior Team have opened for Sarah Osborn and Antonio Gross.
After dominating both days of the competition, including impeccable Finals scores, Osborn (Hampton, Virginia) reclaimed her team jacket this year with an impressive aggregate of 1391.8, a score that put her nearly five points higher than her closest competitor. Osborn has been accumulating national and international experience over the last few years not only as member of the National Team, but also as a member of the Pan American Team last summer.
Gross (Ontario, New York) will be joining the team this year for the first time. With a day two score of 693, it is sure to not be his last time earning that elite team spot. Gross struggled with his standing stage, putting him just out of finals for day one. He didn’t let this bother him, and shot a nearly perfect match on day two to land him in fourth place. Gross ended his competition with an aggregate score of 1282.
The way National Junior Team member invitations are determined is by taking the aggregate of each athlete’s final of the two days of competition. The highest scoring male and highest scoring female are then invited to join the team. This competition consists of three stages; prone, standing, and kneeling. Twenty scoring shots are fired per stage, each having a total possible score of 200. The totals from each stage are combined, and the top eight compete in a finals match. The scores are totaled with the combined score to decide the rankings.
The competition was fierce with perfect scores being plentiful amongst these young shooters, with the first eight positions only separated by 4.6 points, and the first place and eighth place score only differing by 4.6 points in the mixed overall precision competition. The second and third place finishers, Taylor Gibson (Salem, Oregon) and Samantha Peterson (Ham Lake, Minnesota) respectively, only differed in their placements by 0.3 points, a hardly noticeable difference to the untrained eye, but all the difference to these athletes.
For more information regarding this competition including results, click here.