November 24th, 2019

Sunday GunDay: Teen Queen — 18-Year-Old Rifle Ace Katie Ezell

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie poses in high school graduation cap and gown with her Walther LG400 Alutec Air Rifle.

Hard work and tenacity do pay off. Smallbore/Air Rifle ace Katie Ezell is proof.

Story based on article by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer
Hailing from Denver, North Carolina, Katie Ezell, 18, is a rising talent. Katie graduated Summa Cum Laude from High School in 2019 and now attends Ohio State University, where she competes on the OSU Rifle Team. At the age of 10, Katie’s parents introduced her to marksmanship, wanting their daughter to have hands-on instruction in firearm safety. Thus began a love affair that has only evolved since then.

“The first time I ever went shooting, I knew this was something that I would want to continue to do.”

One of Katie’s match rifles is a Walther LG400 Alutec Competition Air Rifle:
Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Since she was so young and unable to join the teenage pistol team at her club, Katie applied to the women’s team, which had no specific age restrictions, and proceeded to compete with those far older and more experienced. Katie accredits much of her competitive drive and how she handles match pressure to pursuing the competition venture at such a young age.

After pistol came skeet, in which Katie traveled to national and international competitions. Thinking about the future, Katie soon realized that a shooting scholarship would allow her to continue in the shooting sports while funding her education. Precision rifle appeared to be the best avenue for this, leading Ezell to move into rimfire sporter for four months before making the jump into precision air rifle.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Ezell cites her greatest accomplishment as “getting accepted to be on The Ohio State [University’s] rifle team after shooting for a year and a half”. While Ezell had been shooting for eight years, she had only been training and competing in precision rifle for 18 months when she was accepted onto the team, where she made her dream a reality.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

After joining the Ohio State team, Katie’s first competition was the Junior Olympics, which added some extra pressure to the already prestigious event. This was not the only special part of the occasion. Katie’s father, a deployed military member, was in town, and this was the first time he could watch her compete in person, since his deployment makes attending matches difficult.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie Ezell at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center in 2018 for Winter Air Gun.

Katie notes that after she set the nervousness aside, she found herself excited and shot a personal best in smallbore. She had hoped to shoot better with her air rifle, but she knows that being part of a college team will help her to improve her skills.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition
Katie excels at Smallbore. Here she aims a .22 LR Walther rifle at the 2018 Nationals at Fort Benning, GA. She shot a personal best at the Junior Olympics.

With Coaching, Katie Has Achieved Personal Bests in Both Ari Rifle and Smallbore
Katie is nearing the end of her first semester at Ohio State and has surpassed her previous bests in Smallbore and Air Rifle. Her coach has changed some of Katie’s positions, and she is improving.

“Marksmanship has taught me a lot about self-control. If the shot does not look right, then I reject it and try again. I have learned that failure is okay….” Katie recognizes that failure can inspire one to do better and to learn. She advises competitors “to not be afraid to fail”. Katie started into precision shooting at a much later age than most, especially those who end up with a college shooting career. Though it took time, she learned to appreciate the experience and to not bury herself in expectations.

Katie Ezell ohio state junior olympics smallbore air rifle shooting competition

Walther LG400-E Expert with Electronic Trigger
The E-trigger ensures wear-free operation and exact trigger settings for many shots. The LED-indicator and the installed rechargeable battery ensure readiness to fire as well as easy and quick loading.

· Trigger pull weight can be reduced to 15 grams
· Wear-free operation and exact trigger settings over many years
· Choice between two-stage mode and direct trigger mode
· Realistic dry-firing conditions (dry-firing trigger)
· Rechargeable battery via mini-USB
· LED indicators for system readiness and battery charge level
· Automatic e-trigger turnoff when not in use

Credit The First Shot CMP Newsletter, story by Serena Juchnowski, CMP Feature Writer.

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April 11th, 2014

NJOSC Showcases State-of-the-Art Scoring Technology

National Junior Olympics Colorado ShootingThe 2014 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) take place this month in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The prestigious event, which runs through April 26th, kicked off yesterday with air pistol matches.

Following the pistol competition, Women’s Rifle takes to the range April 16-20, and then the NJOSC will conclude with Men’s Rifle, April 22-26. Both rifle weeks will include both Air Rifle and Three-Position (smallbore) competition.

National Junior Olympics Colorado Shooting

For the first time in the history of the National Junior Olympics, all competitors will shoot on electronic targets. USA Shooting completed a massive range upgrade to improve lighting and enhance the spectator experience by incorporating more than 70 new electronic targets. This is cutting-edge technology that allows both real-time scoring and even live video streaming on the internet. Shown below are the target print-outs for Air Pistol.

National Junior Olympics Colorado Shooting

In our dreams we could hope for electronic scoring at high power and long-range centerfire events. Wouldn’t it be cool to have scores appear instantaneously, in real time? In addition, after firing a relay you could get a print-out that would show the exact placement of your shots in the scoring rings. That would be handy for analyzing your wind calls. But best of all, with electronic targets, shooters would no longer have to pull pit duty in the hot sun! Over time we may see more of this technology for centerfire competition. We’re told that the new 500-acre, $20 million CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park, being built in Alabama, will have some electronic scoring capabilities.

USA Shooting Video Streaming of Junior Olympics Events
On its YouTube channel, USA Shooting will provide Live and recorded events from the USA Shooting Olympic Training Center Ranges in Colorado Springs. As we write this, the NJOSC 2014 Men & Women Air Pistol Day 2 Air Pistol Relays are streaming. CLICK Here for NJOSC Videos and Streamed Events.

National Junior Olympics Colorado Shooting

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April 22nd, 2013

Ryan Anderson Wins NJOSC Smallbore 3-P and Prone Titles

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

Story based on report by USAShooting.org
Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallboreThe Alaska-Fairbanks rifle shooting program has produced many great champions, such as Matt Emmons and Jamie (Beyerle) Gray, both of whom went on to medal in the Olympics. (Jamie won the women’s 3-P 50m rifle gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics). Based on his recent performance at the 2013 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC), Ryan Anderson may be the next great world-class shooting talent from Alaska-Fairbanks.

At the 2013 Junior Olympic event, Anderson swept both men’s smallbore (.22 caliber) events — he won both the Three-Position and Prone titles. Combined with his silver-medal finish in the 10m Air Rifle event, Anderson proved to be one of America’s best young shooters — a rising star.

Dominant 3-P Performance
Anderson’s dominance was showcased in the Three-Position event where he walked into the event finals with an 11-point lead over Dan Geer. Anderson added 1.2 points to his lead, finishing the 10-shot final as the only competitor to shoot over 100 (101.1) in the final.

All Photos from USAShooting.org
Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

The smallbore prone event was a tight battle between Anderson and Air Force rifle shooter David Higgins. Going into the prone final, the two young men were tied — having both shot identical scores of 594 and 597 in each of their two relays. They’d follow that up with identical 105 scores in the finals. So the prone event came down to a ‘sudden death’ tie-breaker. Tied after 130 shots, the match came down to a 131st tie-breaker shot for gold. Anderson shot a 10.1 to win, while Higgins managed a 10.0 for second place. West Virginia’s Patrick Sunderman took third, 8.4 points behind.

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

Also to note in the Men’s Rifle events, Kentucky’s Cody Manning and Anderson’s UAF teammate Tim Sherry finished the competition as the event’s only three-event finalists. Manning finished fifth (Air), sixth (Prone) and seventh (3P). Sherry finished seventh (Air) and earned a pair of fifth-place finishes in the smallbore events.

CLICK HERE for complete 2013 NJOSC results (PDF File).

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

Alaska Ryan Anderson NJOSC rifle smallbore

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April 17th, 2013

Kentucky’s Connor Davis Wins NJOSC Men’s 10m Air Rifle Title

The nation’s best young air rifle marksmen put on an impressive display at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) on April 16th in Colorado Springs. A trio of Wildcats, a pair of Nanooks, a Falcon, a Mountaineer, and a home-schooled 17-year-old all battled for the National Title in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle Final.

Connor Davis NJOSC

The Univ. of Kentucky’s Connor Davis emerged victorious among a talent-rich NJOSC Air Rifle final that featured five USA Shooting National Junior Team members. Davis earned a 1.5-point victory over University of Alaska-Fairbanks rifle shooter Ryan Anderson while 2012 champ and U.S. Air Force cadet Tyler Rico took the bronze medal. Kentucky freshman Davis was joined in the final by Wildcat teammates Cody Manning and Elijah Ellis who finished fourth and sixth respectively. The surprise of the match was 17-year-old Mark Matheny. The home-schooled shooter from Delaware shot well to finish fifth overall and as the high J2 (15 to 17-year-old) competitor.

Connor Davis NJOSC

Davis’ victory affirms his fast-rise in the sport and backs up his fourth-place finish at the recent NCAA Rifle Championships. “Connor has great spirit and a work ethic to be envied,” said Amy Sowash, a National Development Team athlete and Univ. Kentucky Rifle Assistant Coach. “As a native Kentuckian, we are so proud he represents [Univ. of Kentucky]. He lives on the range and thrives on the excitement of competition, which I think is his greatest strength.”

Connor Davis NJOSC

To learn more about the National Junior Olympic Championships, visit the USA Shooting website. Get the latest updates on USA Shooting’s Facebook Page and Match Results Page following each competition.

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April 8th, 2013

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships in Colorado

The rifle phase of the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) commences this week at the Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, CO. Women’s matches start on Tuesday April 9th, while the men commence their rifle competition on Monday, April 15th.

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

Pistol matches were held this past week, and National Junior Team member Starlin Shi scored an impressive win. Starlin still handily defeated her opposition to capture a third straight NJOSC Women’s Sport Pistol title. In the 10m Air Pistol events, USA Shooting Junior National Team members Wyatt Brown and Alana Townsend both secured national titles (in the men’s and women’s divisions respectively). In the men’s 25m Sport Pistol division, Robert Wells took top honors.

National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

Rifle Shooting Starts Tomorrow
Women’s Rifle competition begins Tuesday (April 9) in Colorado Springs as the 17-day NJOSC competition moves on to its second of three weeks. The competition takes place over a three-week period with over 500 of the finest junior shooters in attendance. The top two finishers in each event earn a spot on USA Shooting’s National Junior Team. The 17-day event features shooting matches in Men’s and Women’s Pistol (Air/Sport) and Rifle (Air/Smallbore). More information can also be found on the USA Shooting website. For scores visit USA Shooting’s Match Results Page

National Junior Olympic Shooting ChampionshipsWomen’ Rifle (April 9-12)

  • April 9-10 — Air Rifle
  • April 11-12 — Smallbore

Men’s Rifle (April 15-19)

  • April 15-16 — Air Rifle
  • April 17-19 — Smallbore
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April 18th, 2012

TCU’s Catherine Green Wins Double Gold at NJOSC

Catherine Greene NJOSC TCUCatherine Green, a 19-year-old sophomore at Texas Christian University (TCU), is a rising star. Over the past few days, Catherine finished her National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC) career on a high note — she won Gold in BOTH Women’s 10m Air Rifle and Women’s 50m Rifle 3-position events. Catherine’s double-gold performance earned her an appointment to the USA National Junior Rifle Team. Catherine, one of the nation’s top young shooters, displays dedication and “mad skills” with a rifle. We predict we may see Catherine standing on an Olympic podium in the not-too-distant future.

Catherine Green, TCU

In the prelims, Green shot 1158 match points to take a ten point lead over her competitors. She followed it up with 94.7 points in the final. Sporting dangling air-pellet earrings all week, 19-year-old Green won the NJOSC Women’s 10m Air Rifle title on Sunday. Her performance reasserted her appointment on the National Junior Rifle Team. Green turns 21 next year so she will not be eligible for the 2013 NJOSC. “I was a little worried today that I would lose the ten point lead,” said Green. “I tried to stay focused and not think about missing, about coming down on my target and envisioning a ten. I was diligent about completing my shot process and focusing on the ten-ring. I’m grateful for the support of my parents, coaches Makucevich and Monez and God.”

Facebook Users: CLICK HERE for USA Shooting VIDEO interview with Catherine Greene

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