Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area Sports

May 13, 2014

Wattenbarger wins bronze medal at Junior Olympics

CROSSVILLE — Nathan Wattenbarger, a junior at SMHS, won the bronze medal, finishing third in the men’s overall trap at the 2014 Tennessee Junior Olympics State Championships at the Holly Forks shooting complex in Paris, TN May 3-4.

He shot a 112x125 with Jared Williams of Savannah, TN, taking gold with a score of 116 and Trey Hill of Murfreesboro winning silver with a 113.

Cumberland County took second place in the team awards with a 316. This class was awarded based on the total of the top three scores of the team. First place went to CTC-Tennessee of Nashville with a score of 337 and McKenzie Shooting Sports, McKenzie, TN taking third with a 315.

The Clay Crushers had 19 shooters competing at Junior Olympics, which is an International Trap competition.

International Trap is more challenging and differs from American Trap in many ways. The most obvious difference is the increased speed of the targets, up to 62 mph at this competition. The targets are also thrown at greater heights and at more severe angles. The targets are also harder so they can withstand the force of being thrown faster and farther.

In addition, the athletes are only allowed to shoot a 7/8 ounce load, down from a 1 1/8 ounce load allowed in American Trap. The shooters are allowed to fire two shots at each target and then rotate to the next station.

In American Trap, only one shot per target is permitted and the shooters remain at each station for five targets and rotates as a squad.

This event had 136 boys and girls from across Tennessee competing for top spots with no allowance given for age. J3 shooters age 14 and under were competing with J2 (15-17 years) and J1 shooters 18-20. This two-day competition consisted of three rounds of 25 targets on day one and two rounds of 25 targets on day two, for a total of 125 targets.

The Cumberland County shooters that attended were Jordan Burgess (95), Megan Burgess (79), Andy Carey (87), Cody Chattin (95), Nate Hembree (77), Clint Kemmer (94), Corbin Moore (70), Ally Petersen (56), Seth Petersen (94), Ryley Phillips (68), Derek Rose (85), Justin Reed (87), Meghan Server (93), Andrew Smith (91), Ty Stone (108), Nathan Wattenbarger (112), Hunter Webb (79), Taylor Webb (67) and Cooper Wyatt (96).

All athletes competing at Junior Olympics are eligible to attend the National Junior Olympics Championships in Colorado Springs, CO in July, but, the top three athletes in trap and skeet received an invitation. All others may sign up for the 150 slots on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The Tennessee Junior Olympics is sanctioned by USA Shooting (USAS) and was presented by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) and the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP).

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