April 20, 2013
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. - April 15-19, following the conclusion of the 2013 National Junior Olympic Shooting Championships at the U.S. Olympic Shooting Center in Colorado Springs, the Air Force Academy rifle program would have a collection of Falcons claim four of the event's top-three prizes. Freshman David Higgins (Camp Pendleton, Calif.) earned the silver medal for the men's 50-meter prone and Tyler Rico (Tucson, Ariz.) won the bronze for the men's air rifle finals. In the women's finals, sophomore Meredith Carpentier (Waukegan, Ill.) walked away with the women's air rifle championship title and Kevyn Stinett, a freshman (Colorado Springs, Colo.), earned the bronze for air rifle (April 9-10).
On April 19 (day 3), Higgins came in second after tying in the regular match and again in the 10-shot shoot off with opponent Ryan Anderson. The two shooters had to shoot a sudden death shot. Anderson won the shoot off with a 10.1 against Higgins' 10.0. Higgins final score was 1296.
"Higgins and Anderson would battle through all 130 shots of Prone as the two would have identical scores of 594 and 597 in each of their two relays. They'd follow that up with identical 105 finals as neither athlete was willing to give in to the other. Tied after 130 shots, they'd decide this match on the 131st tie-breaker shot for gold as Anderson would shoot a 10.1 while Higgins managed a 10.0," according to USA Shooting.
Craig O'Daniel (Lebanon, Ky.) was in a three-way shoot off to get into the 50-meter prone final and had a good performance throughout the match, he finished seventh overall with 1279.1 points. Rico had a final score of 1173 and finished 19th. In the 50m three-position smallbore, Rico and Higgins finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Rico's final score was 2292, Higgins final score was 2288. O'Daniel finished with 2271 points and in 15th place.
"All the guys had moments of great performances," said head coach Launi Meili. "We need to work on consistency for the long haul but we are showing signs of top athletes in the sport."
Previously in the men's air rifle finals, Higgins and O'Daniel finished ninth and 14th, respectively. Higgins had a two-day final of 1168 with two 584s. O'Daniel scored a 585 and 580 for both days totaling 1165 points. Rico earned the bronze with his two day final score of 1177 points (594 and 583).
In the men's 50-meter prone matches, Higgins was in the lead with 1,191 overall points. After day 1, Higgins had 594 points. He then scored a 597 to finish the match with 1191 total points. O'Daniel had 587 points on day 1 and scored 592 the next for a total of 1179 points. Rico's scored a 587 and 586 on days 1-2, respectively, to finish with 1173 points.
In the 50m Three Position (day 1-2), Higgins had a match score of 2,288 points after two days. On day 1, he had a total of 1,138 points. On day 2, he scored a 399 prone, 371 standing and 380 kneeling for 1,150 points (1138 and 1150). He scored 100s in prone 1, 3 and 4. O'Daniel had a match score of 2271. His day 1 total was 1137 and on day 2 he scored 396 prone, 355 standing and 383 kneeling (1134). He fired a perfect 100 in prone 1. Rico's two-day total was 2292 (1146 & 1146).
April 9-12, in the women's air rifle, Carpentier shot a 396/400 to open up a five-point lead on second-place qualifiers and National Junior Team members Elizabeth Grantz from Illinois and Haylea Broughton from Oklahoma. Stinett shot a 102.7 in the finals to finish third with 887.7 overall points, just .3 shy of second-place finisher Sasha Perez (888.0). In the women's smallbore (.22), Carpentier fired a 562/600 and 568/600 for an overall 1130 and finished 23rd. Stinett outscored her teammate with a nine-point margin, scoring a 570 and 569 to finish 12th with an overall 1139.