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Knight finishes as runner-up at Junior World Skeet Championship

ELITE COMPANY: Owen Knight, of Macy, recently finished as runner-up at the National Skeet Shooting Association Junior World Skeet Championship held in Fort Bragg, NC. Knight finished as runner-up to Sheaffer Stanfill of Clarksville, TN but did pick upgold after winning the 410 gauge event.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

Spending a weekend in North Carolina at the end of the July sounds like a nice getaway before school started over the past two weeks around Miami County.

For Owen Knight, it was no vacation as the Macy resident and North Miami freshman was competing in the National Skeet Shooting Association Junior World Skeet Championship at Fort Bragg July 25-28.

Knight said the outing was one of the best he’d had as a skeet shooter.

“Nationals felt really good,” Knight said. “I’ve been working towards what I wanted to accomplish the last couple of years and it feels good to accomplish what I worked for.”

Moving into the Junior Division this season, Knight ended as runner-up overall out of 150 competitors, hitting 398 of 400 targets across the four scored events, trailing only Sheaffer Stanfill of Clarksville, Tennessee, who notched a perfect 400 out of 400 targets, the second-youngest competitor to ever complete the feat at the Junior World Championship.

Knight started the event with a 100 out of 100 round in the preliminary shoot before another 100 out of 100 round in the 12 gauge event, only to miss out on placement following the shootout.

“The prelims shoot was really good,” Knight noted about his first shoot of the weekend. “It felt it was going to be a really good event.

“I’d worked hard so it was kind of disappointing to not place (In the 12 gauge). I felt if I continued to work hard, I would get another chance.”

Knight would finish 14th in the 20 gauge shoot after notching 99 of 100 targets and 15th in the doubles after hitting 98 of 100 targets but missed out on a placement again in the 28 gauge despite hitting 99 of 100 targets.

The big moment for Knight came in the 410 shoot as Knight and Stanfill were the only two to notch 100s out of 151 competitors.

Knight would win the shoot off over Stanfill and win gold in the event as a result.

“The 410 went extremely well,” Knight said on his winning shoot. “All my friends were there to congratulate me and they felt good about it too.

“My parents and others were there encouraging me and it felt good to get one of my goals accomplished.”

Though finishing second to Stanfill in the overall score, Knight was pleased with his overall performance.

“I would have liked to have won the overall but with how well I shot, I’m proud of where I ended up,” Knight said. “Nationals was the best score that I’ve ever shot.”

Knight barely had time to rest as the following weekend was a shoot in Illinois and this weekend, Knight takes part in the Zone 3 Skeet Championships at the Detroit Gun Club.

Though he had a little bit of a down shoot by his standards the weekend prior, Knight said he was going into the event looking at it the same way he did other events.

“I just have to forget about the previous weekend,” Knight said in preparation for the Zone 3 Shoot. “Everyone starts at zero.

“I just have to work hard, start over and shoot well again.”