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Cooper brings home the gold

Medalists in the USA Shooting Junior Fun Nationals include from left to right: Bronze Medalist Matthew Kutz, Gold Medalist Corbin Cooper and Silver Medalist Lance Thompson. – Photo courtesy of USA Shooting

Mount Ida’s Corbin Cooper and Tommy Jack Thew traveled to Colorado earlier this month to compete in the USA Shooting Fun Nationals shotgun competition. Cooper walked away from the national event with a Gold Medal in the Junior Olympic competition.
Cooper finished 10th in the Junior Olympic competition and qualified for the finals with a Top 6 finish in the Nationals. The weather shifted during the event with temperatures dropping as the wind picked up. Cooper was able to overcome the weather change to become the 2020 National Junior Champion. He defeated Lance Thompson of Pennsylvania and Matthew Kutz of Texas to earn the Gold Medal. He also won a cash price, a Seth McGinn Can Cooker among other prizes.
Fellow competitor Lance Thompson called Cooper “a machine in the cold and wind” in a social media post following the finals.
Tommy Jack Thew finished 13th in the Junior Olympic event and performed well in Nationals. He also competed in a shoot-off for a custom rifle.
The Fun Nationals were scheduled after the Junior Olympic qualifying event had been canceled due to COVID-19. If this had been the regular event Cooper would have received a spot on the Junior Development Team which trains with the US Olympic Shooting Team.
The Junior Olympic competition was part of a two week event that included the Tokyo 202One Olympic Shotgun Team, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit Soldiers, and junior and senior competitors from around the country.
The events included Colorado State Junior Olympics for skeet and trap as well as two open events including 250 trap and skeet targets over three days each where competitors won prizes from partners like SKB Cases, Federal Ammunition, Orca Coolers, Shaklee, Talo (Ruger 10-22), Seth McGinn Can Cookers and many more.

Corbin Cooper takes aim while competing in the USA Shotting Fun Nationals in Colorado. – Photo courtesy of USA Shooting

USA Shooting stated in a press release that in lieu of having a typical National and Junior Olympic Championships in which team positions are awarded, USA Shooting is proud to have offered this Fun-National competition which prompted big scores, encouraged comradery, and provided an opportunity to compete in this uncertain time. USA Shooting began sanctioning events again on June 1 and is continuing to sanction state and local events and recommends clubs follow specific guidelines from their individual state’s governor and the CDC.»
Mount Ida offers a wide variety of shooting sport categories for young people to get involved in if they so desire. Students can sign up to shoot ATA Trap, Wobble Trap, International Skeet, and International Bunker.

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