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Printable Version

Micaela Jochum Wins Fourth Major Championship in a Row

By Gary Anderson, DCM

Individual champions in the Junior Olympic Sporter competition were Micaela Jochum (center), 1st; Simone Riford (l.), 2nd and Lauren Strebel (r.) 3rd.
If anyone had any doubts about who the best junior sporter class air rifle shooter is, the results of the Junior Olympic Three-Position Air Rifle Championship should put those doubts to rest. Starting with the American Legion Championship last August and now including another decisive victory in the National Junior Olympic competition, 16-year-old Micaela Jochum of Beatrice Nebraska has won four major national-level championships in a row. And all with huge victory margins and national record class scores.

A huge gym at Western Kentucky Univ. was converted into a temporary air rifle range. The facility was ideal for the National Guard, Daisy and Junior Olympic Championships that were hosted there this summer.
Last August while winning the American Legion sporter title, Jochum became only the second junior ever to break 570 with a sporter air rifle when she fired a National Record 571 score. In June she dominated the National Guard Bureau Junior Tournament and set an open national prone position record with a 199. One week later in the Daisy Junior Air Rifle Championship she set a new open standing national record with a 192 and raised her three-position national record to 573 while winning the overall two-day Daisy title by 31 points.

The Tuba City (AZ) MCJROTC team placed second in the scholastic team category.
Later that same week in the National Junior Olympic Three-Position Air Rifle Championship, which took place at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on 7-9 July, she won the sporter class individual championship by 28 points. This time there were no new national records, but her daily scores of 565 and 561 were remarkable considering that until 2005, the national record for the sporter 3x20 course stood at 561.

R. L. Paschal High School (TX) won the scholastic team category championship.
The National Junior Olympic Championship is unique and important as a junior position air rifle championship because to get to the nationals, competitors must first qualify in state championships that take place in January through April. The Junior Olympic Championship is a USA Shooting competition that receives sponsorship and administrative support from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

Individual silver medalist Simone Riford and her Punahou Gold (HI) teammates all fired with Daisy M753 pneumatic air rifles.
In the individual matches, the best competition was for second and third places. After two days of firing, Jochum was 27 points ahead of the second place shooter Simone Riford of Kaneohe, Hawaii, while 19 points separated the other seven shooters who qualified for the final. Riford started with a six point lead over Lauren Strebel of Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Both had 88s in the final as they placed second and third.

The Homestead 4-H Shooting Club (NE) won the club category team championship.
Junior Olympic team competition is divided into scholastic and club categories. In the club category, the Homestead 4-H Shooting Club from Beatrice, Nebraska won another championship that started with Jochum’s great performance.

There was close competition in the scholastic team category between R. L. Paschal High School Army JROTC from Texas and the Tuba City High School Marine Corps JROTC team from Arizona. The Punahou High School Gold team from Hawaii was not far behind. Paschal High won the title with a 4262 total with Tuba City second and Punahou third. The 4205 third place score fired by the Punahou Gold team and Simone Riford’s individual silver medal total that included 549 and 550 3x20 scores were remarkable because all Punahou team members fired Daisy M753 pneumatic air rifles.

Individual Junior Olympic winner Micaela Jochum in the kneeling position.
In the age group competitions, Riford won the junior title, Jochum the intermediate junior title and Alyssa Wolken from the Homestead club in Nebraska the sub-junior title. 143 junior shooters from 30 states qualified and came to Bowling Green to compete in the 2006 Junior Olympic Sporter Championship. The Junior Olympic Precision Championship took place in Bowling Green on 10-12 July.

Complete results for the competition are posted at Photos are posted at

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