By Lars Dalseide | April 20 2014 14:03

Top spot in 3-Position Olympic Junior Rifle Championship goes to Nebraska freshman

Nebraska freshman Lauren Phillips at the  National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships I first read about Lauren Phillips in 2012. Back then she part of a spitfire quartet known as the West Seattle/Vashon Thunderbirds. Fresh off her team's NRA National Junior Sectional victory, she decided to start taking a more serious approach her shooting career.

Since then, she hit the road for matches in Fort Benning, Georgia, Anniston, Alabama, Camp Perry, Ohio and Colorado Springs, Colorado. What did that travel catalog get her? How about a scholarship to the University of Nebraska and a spot in the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships.

Once she earned that Junior Olympics spot, well, let's just say she's been difficult to stop. So much so that she walked away with the overall Women’s Three-Position Rifle title yesterday.

"I was going in gunning for a record Final," the scarlet-haired sharpshooter told USA Shooting. "It didn't happen today, but there were some excellent performances by my fellow collegiates."

To get a full breakdown of Phillip's performance at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships, take a look at the press release from USA Shooting:

Phillips Dominates Women's Three-Position Rifle at NJOSC

No one could catch Lauren Phillips.

Before she even stepped on the line for the Women’s Three-Position Rifle Final at the National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships (NJOSC), Phillips (Seabeck, Wash.) already had the title in the bag.

Phillips, a freshman at the University of Nebraska (pictured), built a dominating eight-point lead over the closest competitor in the 66-shooter field. Champions at this year’s NJOSC are determined through a modified selection format similar to that of USA Shooting’s National Championships: Points are awarded points earned in each day of competition with Nebraska freshman Lauren Phillips takes a moment at the  National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships additional points awarded for performance in the Final – Eight for first, seven for second and so on. Phillips finished fifth in the Final, but it didn’t really matter.

“The Qualification was just like I was planning for – build an early lead so it takes the pressure of the Final,” Phillips said. “That’s just what I did. Went in Day One with a personal best and Day Two two points lower, but stayed consistent…I went in gunning for a record Final but it didn’t happen today. There were some excellent performances by my fellow collegiates.”

The competition for second place, however, would be very tightly contested. Lorelie Stanfield (Fairbanks, Alaska) would finish in second place in the Final, giving her the added points needed to finish in second place overall. Virginia Thrasher (Springfield, Va.) would finish in fourth in the Final, but those points would put her in third place overall.

The top-two overall finishers in each category earned appointments to the National Junior Team. Phillips and Stanfield were named to the team for the first time following the competition. Phillips, however, isn’t new to the international stage. She shot in a Minimum Qualifying Score (MQS) position at the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup USA in Fort Benning, Ga. earlier this month. This year’s NJOSC served as the first of two parts of selection for the Junior team for the ISSF World Championships in Granada, Spain in September. Members of that team will be determined following the USA Shooting National Championships for Rifle and Pistol in June.

Nearly 600 competitors (age 21 and younger) from across the country qualified at their state competitions for the opportunity to compete in the 17-day NJOSC competition.

Nebraska freshman Lauren Phillips (c) with Lorelie Stanfield (l) and  Virginia Thrasher (r) at the  National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships

Women’s Three Position Rifle Medal Winners

Champion: Lauren Phillips (Seabeck, Wash.)
2nd Place: Lorelie Stanfield (Fairbanks, Alaska)
3rd Place: Virginia Thrasher (Springfield, Va.)

High J2: Sarah Osborn (Hampton, Va.)
2nd J2: Elizabeth Marsh (Searcy, Ark.)
3rd J2: Mackenzie Martin (Fairhaven, Mass.)

High J3: Annabelle Stanec (Wadsworth, Ohio)
2nd J3: Amity Ermarth (Springfield, Va.)
3rd J3: Bailey Dettle (Dalhart, Texas)


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