Eighteen-year-old Emily Quiner of Brooklyn Park, Minn., won the Precision championship during the 19th annual American Legion Junior Air Rifle National Championship in Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 6-8. Shooting for Minnesota Center Shots and sponsored by Edward B. Cutter Post 102 in Anoka, Minn., Quiner finished with a score of 2,467.5 of a possible 2.509.
Deckard Day, a 15-year-old shooter from Albuquerque, N.M., captured the Sporter crown. Shooting for the LaCueva High School Marine Corps JROTC marksmanship unit sponsored by Post 49 in Albuquerque, Day fired an impressive 2308.9 out of 2509.
Three tournament records were set during the competition. Quiner set a new Precision standing record of 788.54 out of a possible 800, breaking the previous record of 785 set by 2006 champion Thomas Santelli. Day set a new Sporter kneeling score of 764, breaking the old record of 756 shared by 2005 champion Micaela Jochum and 2004 champion Wesley Hess. Finally, Kaitlin Pennell set a new Precision final shoot-off record of 103.5 out of 109 possible, breaking the previous record of 103 set by 2005 champion Jonathan Hall.
Also, Day's 2308.9 placed him fourth in the all-time top five Sporter scores.The tournament staff selected teammates Courtney Bates and Shayna Thompson as co-recipients of the annual Francis M. Redington Sportsmanship award. The award was established in May 2005 in the memory of Redington, a long-time tournament staff member, who passed away in 2003. Bates and Thompson were selected as the athletes competing in the national championship who best exemplified good sportsmanship and fair play.
Observing the competition again this year was 1992 rifle Olympic Gold medalist Launi Meili, who got her start at a shooting program sponsored by Cheney, Wash., American Legion Post 72. Meili is a rifle coach for the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
The American Legion's Junior Shooting Sports program offers junior shooters the opportunity to participate in Olympic-style competition while providing instruction on the safe handling of firearms.
Top five finishers – Precision1. Emily Quiner – 2,467.5 of 2,509 points; Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Minnesota Center Shots; sponsored by Edward B. Cutter Post 102, Anoka, Minn. 2. Abigail Stanec – 2,460.8; Wadsworth, Ohio; Ashland Eagles; Frank A. Bender Post 473, Copley, Ohio3. Emily Holsopple – 2,449.2; Wilcox, Pa.; Ridgway Rifle Club Junior Team; Edward Lehman Post 467, Wilcox, Pa.4. Kyle Rebillion – 2,442.7; Tacoma, Wash.; Capitol City Junior Rifle Club; Edward B. Rhodes Post 2, Parkland, Wash.5. Kaitlin Pennell – 2,442.5; Antelope, Calif.; Lincoln Rifle Club; James E. Fowler Post 264, Lincoln, Calif.Top five finishers – Sporter1. Deckard Day - 2,308.9; Albuquerque, N.M.; LaCueva High School MCJROTC; Post 49, Albuquerque, N.M.2. Thomas Wheeless – 2,290.7; Hampton, Va.; Lafayette Gun Club of Virginia; Poquoson Post 273, Poquoson, Va.3. Courtney Bates – 2,273; Geneva, Fla.; Oviedo High School NJROTC; Post 112, Winter Park, Fla.4. Logan Stribling – 2,267.5; Albuquerque, N.M.; LaCueva High School Marine Corps JROTC; Post 49, Albuquerque, N.M.5. Alyssa Wolken – 2,264.1; Beatrice, Neb.; Homestead 4-H Gun Club; Post 27, Beatrice, Neb.