By Brittany Nelson, USAS Public Relations & Communications Manager

COLO SPRGS, CO (April 24, 2023) – Gavin Barnick, of Menasha, Wisconsin, earned the title of 2023 Junior Olympic Champion for Men’s Smallbore Rifle, April 19.

“It felt really good to win,” said Barnick, a student athlete at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. “I figured out of all the years I have been competing I had to win it one time.”

Barnick competed alongside over 300 athletes in the 2023 Rifle Junior Olympic Championships at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Barnick was among eight competitors who qualified to shoot for medal spots in the Men’s Smallbore Rifle finals. Braden Peiser, of San Angelo, Texas, earned silver, and Tyler Wee, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, earned bronze.

The competition spanned over two weeks and included men’s and women’s air rifle, smallbore rifle, and Paralympic air and smallbore rifle. Athletes from over forty states competed in the annual USA Shooting competition.

“My favorite part about competing in this match would have to be the comradery,” said Barnick. “All of the juniors are here, and it is a nice atmosphere.”

Barnick started shooting when he was 10 years old with a local 4-H club. He has since earned five international medals and recently helped his college team earn the 2023 NCAA Rifle Championship title.

The competition also decided the Men’s Smallbore team for the 2023 International Shooting Sports Federation Junior World Championships in Changwon, Korea, July 14-18. The following athletes qualified: Gavin Barnick, Braden Peiser, Matthew Sanchez, Tyler Wee, and Griffin Lake.

Medals were also awarded for in the following Men’s Smallbore Rifle categories:

Men’s U18: Griffin Lake, gold; Dylan Gregory, silver; Samuel Adkins, bronze.

Men’s U15: Grayson Muller, gold; Logan Sanchez, silver; Camden Koert, bronze.

The following Paralympic medals were awarded at the 2023 Rifle Junior Olympic Championships:

Air Rifle

R1: Landon Ruggera, gold

R3: Landon Ruggera, gold

R4: Benjamin Hays, gold; Jadon Nafziger, silver; Sidney Knight, bronze.

R5: Benjamin Hays, gold; Jadon Nafziger, silver; Sidney Knight, bronze.

Smallbore Rifle

R6: Landon Ruggera, gold

R9: Ben Hays, gold; Jadon Nafziger, silver

All official results:

Purchase photos of the event here:

View awards ceremony photos here: