“The quest for gold starts with dedication and training” and a darned good sporter air rifle. For Coach Cindy Thorne, the only choice is the Crosman Challenger for her 2012 National Sporter Junior Olympic Team squad from Charles County, Maryland.

In April they attended the State qualification championship of the Junior Olympics.  Charles County 4H was represented by Tyler Thorne, Cody Thorne, Chris Boyle, Johnny Hancock, Douglas Duehring, Caitlin Olejnik, Amanda Campbell, and Michael Bucci.  Chris, Cody, Tyler, and Johnny came in 1-4 respectively and the team won first place.

Tyler Thorne, Cody Thorne, Johnny Hancock, Douglas Duehring went on to represent Charles County 4H and Maryland State in the National 3P air rifle Junior Olympics.  The Junior Olympics divided teams into two categories: club and scholastic. They won GOLD as Sporter Club Team Champion and Johnny Hancock came in seventh place overall.  One Hundred Seventy of the best shooter in the US from Alaska to Hawaii participated in the national match.

Tyler Thorne, Cody Thorne, Johnny Hancock, Douglas Duehring went on to represent Charles County 4H in the 2012 NRA Junior Air Gun Championships held June 26-28 in Anniston, Alabama.  There were 109 of the top competitors from all over US.  NRA gives out top three teams overall, then out of the remaining teams they place teams in the following categories, Club Team, State Association, Military Scholastic, Scholastic Team.  The team came in third place overall and Cody placed eight overall.  Cody and Tyler both placed in the top 14 on the first day, which put them on Team USA to compete against South Africa.

Tyler and Johnny finished earning the distinguished expert award during the Junior Olympic match.  Cody earned his distinguished badge earlier this year.  This is the highest honor bestowed upon any shooters and is hard to obtain.  The Junior Distinguished Badge is awarded to school-age junior three-position air rifle shooters who distinguish themselves by attaining a series of high rankings in designated major junior air rifle championships.

Pictured (LtoR): Tyler Thorne, John Hancock, Cody Thorne, Doug Duehring