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April 2012
Five Juniors Represent Minnesota at 2012 National Junior Olympic Rifle Championships.

In April five Minnesota juniors competed at the National Junior Olympic Rifle Championships in Smallbore and Air Rifle at the US. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Allie Taschuk and Samantha Peterson represented Minnesota in both Women's disciplines of Smallbore and Air Rifle, while Elizabeth Ewert competed in the Air Rifle competition. In the Women's 3X20 Smallbore competition, shooters shoot 20 shots in each of the positions Prone, Standing, and Kneeling, which is shot two times for a possible 1200. In the first day of the women's smallbore competition Samantha Peterson shot a 537/600 while Allie Taschuk was only 3 points behind Peterson with 534. On the second day of shooting Peterson put up an extremely impressive 559, while Allie Taschuk also put up an improved second day score of 551. Those scores secured Samantha Peterson a 1096 total and a 45th overall finish, but a Silver Medal in the J3 age category. Allie Taschuk finish the competition with 1085 finishing 52nd overall out of the 68 competitors in Women's Smallbore. In the Women's Air Rifle portion female shooters shoot 8 standing targets over the course of two days for a possible 800 points. Samantha Peterson in Air shot a 757, and finishing 47th overall within the 100 women competitors. Allie Taschuk shot a 756 just a point behind Peterson for a 49th overall finish. Elizabeth Ewert also in the J3 category in Air Rifle shot a 752 placing her 64th overall and 6th in the J3 age category. Allie Taschuk will be attending and shooting for the 2012 NCAA National Champions Texas Christian University (TCU) in the fall.

For the Men's competitions juniors, Patrick Sunderman, and Scott Chester represented the State in Men's Air Rifle, where competitors shoot 12 Air Rifle standing targets over the course of two days for a possible 1200. Patrick Sunderman posted an 1174 for 3rd and securing him a spot in the final which the top 8 competitors advance to. While Scott Chester put up an 1127 for 42nd overall. In advancing to the final Patrick Sunderman shot a score of 98.9 for a total of 1272.9 and finishing him 4th overall after the final. Men's Air Rifle saw 101 competitors compete in the event.

In the Men's Smallbore competition Patrick Sunderman was the only Minnesota men's qualifier for the event, which consists of 60 shots in Prone, and 40 shots in both Standing and Kneeling for one day of competition, and repeated for a second day of competition, for a possible 1200 in the Men's Prone competition, and a possible 2400 in the Men's 3X40 position portion of the competition. Patrick overcame unexpected adversity in the course of competing at the Championships as after he arrived he found the bolt of his Feinwerkbau .22 rifle had been broken during the flight to Colorado and in turn rendering his rifle useless for the competition. Patrick had to have a bolt overnight next day shipped to him from another local junior shooter who happened to shoot the same model rifle and was willing to send Patrick his bolt to be used for the competition. Patrick posted in the Prone competition a total score of 1176 out of 1200 giving him a 12th J1 category finish , and a 15th overall of the 61 total competitors. In the Men's 3X40 position competition Patrick posted a 2305, placing him 5th in his J1 age category, and 5th overall again securing a spot in the final of the top 8 competitors. In the Smallbore 3 Position final Patrick put up a 91.6 for a total of 2396.6 holding his 5th place overall for the competition. Complete results of all the matches can be found on the USA Shooting website

All junior competitors had to qualify through previous competition shooting a minimum qualification score to receive an invitation to compete out at this championship. All five above Minnesota shooters showed exceptional skill, and tremendous dedication in the accomplishment of even qualifying for the competition, as it is only each years top juniors shooters in the country who receive invites. Please be sure to congratulate these five shooters if you happen to have the opportunity to see one of them on a range during this upcoming summer shooting season.

Submitted by: Chad Danielson

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National Rifle Association USA Shooting Civialian Marksmanship Program