Junior Marksman Compete for National Olympic Championship

Mack DreyfussContributor IApril 20, 2009

BEIJING - AUGUST 17: A general view of competitors in the men's 50m rifle 3 positions final held at the Beijing Shooting Range Hall during Day 9 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 17, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Over 300 youth from across the nation gathered in Colorado Springs from Apr. 4-19 to compete in the 2009 Rifle and Pistol National Junior Olympic Shooting Championship. In order to win an invitation to the competition, these youth had to win their State Junior Olympic Championship or shoot above a set score.


Champions include the following in their respective categories:


Emily Quiner in the 10 meter women's rifle


Sandra Fong in the 50 meter women's three-position rifle


Ethan Settlemires in the 10 meter men's rifle


Samuel Muegge in the 50 meter men's prone rifle


Dempster Christenson in the 50 meter men's three-position rifle


Will Brown in the 10 meter men's pistol


Kylie Gagnon in the 10 meter women's pistol


Courtney Anthony in the 25 meter women's sport pistol


Will Brown in the 50 meter men's free pistol


The competition was held at the U.S. Olympic Shooting Center where full-time resident athletes live and train for the Olympic games. The Shooting Center is the largest indoor shooting facility in the Western Hemisphere and the third largest in the world. Outdoor ranges are also utilized at the nearby International Shooting Park.


The USA Shooting mission statement is to “Prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S., and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country.”


The organization was created in 1995 after the National Governing Body for Shooting established national teams and national development teams, a national coaching staff, year-round training staff, and a training site for Olympic shooting sports. Prior to this, athletes trained independently and met annually to try out for major events.


America's future Olympic athletes have taken a step forward into the crucible of competition. These athletes continue to forge the proud and highly decorated legacy of the American shooting community. They represent the 20 million Americans who participate in target shooting sports each year.