Wolford sweeps junior shooting competition
January marked the beginning of a new year and another chance for North Dakota’s junior shooting athletes to attend the ND State Junior Olympic Shooting Championship (JOSC). The JOSC is without question the biggest match for junior shooting athletes in North Dakota. The winners of a JOSC match win a state championship medal and earn an invitation to attend the National JOSC matches held in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
The pistol events were held on January 13th in Devils Lake. Sixteen junior pistol athletes from North Dakota and Minnesota gathered to compete for four state championships in air pistol and sport pistol. Kaitlin Slaubaugh, Emily Yoder and Kiara Slaubaugh made up the Wolford Shooting Club Pistol Team. Kaitlin and Emily returned for their second year in the air pistol event and added the fast-paced sport pistol event this year. Kiara competed in her first Junior Olympic air pistol competition.
The North Dakota portion of the Women’s Air Pistol event ended with Emily scoring 324/400 to put her in 2nd place and on the silver medal podium. Kaitlin was close behind with a score of 315/400 to claim the bronze medal. Kiara fired a very nice score of 239/400, which put her in 4th place in the J3 (Sub-Junior) age classification. Wolford Team alumnus, Hannah Walsh, now a collegiate athlete at UND, competed in her last JOSC because of the age restriction. Hannah will go out on top as the 2018 ND State Champion in Women’s Air Pistol by bringing home the gold medal for the fifth year in a row. She set a new state record and earned an automatic invitation with a score of 360/400 to send her back to Colorado to compete in her 5th National Jr. Olympic Air Pistol Championship.
Following the air pistol match, the ladies were called to the sport pistol line. The sport pistol event is a .22 caliber rimfire match that includes a 30 shot precision stage, followed by a 30 shot rapid fire (dueling) stage. Kaitlin and Emily practiced at the Turtle Mountain Rifle & Pistol Club range in Rolla and it paid off for both of them. Kaitlin shot the winning score of 518/600 in her first Junior Olympic Sport Pistol match, which made her the 2018 ND Sport Pistol State Champion and automatically qualified her for the National Jr. Olympic Sport Pistol Championship. Emily earned the bronze medal with a score of 426/600, leaving room for Hannah to claim the silver medal with a score of 501/600.
At the end of the day, it was a clean sweep for the Wolford High School Shooting Club Pistol Team members and alumni with all of the 2018 North Dakota State Women’s Jr. Olympic Pistol Championship medals finding their way to Wolford, ND.
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