Sarah Osborn wanted to take another shot at competing in small-bore .22 rifle shooting. Why not? The 14-year-old Hampton shooting phenom already had won national honors in air rifle.
This included winning individual silver and bronze medals in her age group at previous National Junior Olympics.
But she wanted more. She got it. Now she's a gold medalist and national champion. Not in air rifle, but amazingly in the small-bore competition.
Osborn became a national champ April 11-12 by topping her 14-and-under age group at the USA Shooting Junior Olympic National Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.
She achieved the feat with a personal-best score of 586 out of 600 the first day, a 581 the second day and then a 102.8 in the finals for a total of 1,269.8 points. That was 10 points higher than the runner-up.
It was an ultra-gratifying victory for a couple of reasons: Osborn had shot at the JO's in air rifle since age 11, but this was her first time competing there in small-bore and at a new distance — 50 meters.
It didn't matter. The Hampton Christian student was fired up for the challenge, stayed focused, and came away with the biggest accomplishment of her shooting career.
"All of my practices paid off when it mattered," she said.
For Osborn, it was an extraordinary accomplishment considering she hadn't shot small-bore in four years — and only for a brief time — until returning to that type of shooting in the past year.
From the beginning, she set her sights on qualifying for the JO nationals. Osborn achieved that goal by becoming the youngest female to win the state small-bore title this past winter. At the time, she was only 13.
Less than a week before the recent JOs, Osborn also excelled in air rifle at the Civilian Marksmanship Program's regional at Camp Perry, Ohio. She finished third there and fourth overall among all regionals to qualify for the CMP Junior Olympic 3-Position Air Rifle National Championships in Anniston, Ala., July 11-17.
With Ashley Lambert as the main attraction, World Class Gymnastics qualified four girls for the Level 10 Junior Olympic National Championships May 10-11 in Minneapolis.
Lambert, Taylor Harrison, Bridget Steffen and Rebekah Conrad earned their tickets by placing among the top individuals in the all-around in their age groups at the Region 7 Championships Saturday and Sunday in Bridgeton, N.J.
Lambert, competing in the Sr. D division, won individual titles on bars (9.6) and floor (9.825) and placed second in the all-around with a score of 38.425. The Menchville High senior also placed second on vault (9.8) and third on beam (9.2).
Harrison, a junior at Tabb High, took the bars title (9.55) and placed fourth in the AA (37.425) in Sr. B.
Steffen finished second on beam (9.35) and fifth in the AA with a career-best 37.275 in Sr. D. Conrad placed second on beam (9.325) and fifth in the AA (36.975) in Sr. C.
Three-time national qualifier Kiera Brown was unable to compete at the regional because of a recent injury.
Qualifying for the National Invitational in Minneapolis on May 12 was Kourtney Chinnery, 10th in the AA (36.625) in Jr. A. Alternates included Akira Ison and Savannah Borman. ...
On Friday, World Class held a college signing ceremony for Conrad and Taylor Le Moal. Conrad, a seven-time JO Nationals/NIT qualifier and 11-time state champion, will continue her gymnastics pursuits on a full athletic scholarship at Arizona State University.
Le Moal, a 2013 Level 9 all-around state champ and qualifier for the upcoming Eastern Nationals, has received an academic scholarship along with a spot on the Rutgers University gymnastics team.
At age 69, Ken Stearn's bowling game couldn't be better. Or so it seemed on April 11 at Village Lanes in Gloucester.
It turned out to be an amazing night as the Gloucester resident became the oldest bowler to roll back-to-back 300 games in Virginia Peninsula USBC history. Not only that, but he finished the night with a career-high 782 series.
"It was just one of those nights. I was in a zone and everything felt right," Stearn said Sunday night.
It even felt right in his third and final game, a 182.
"All the balls were in the pocket, but they weren't carrying," he said.
Stearn, who has been bowling for close to 45 years and is carrying about a 195 average, has been at his best the past six years at Village Lanes. He bowled his first 300 game there on April 12, 2007; his second on April 13, 2010; and his third on March 31, 2011. Not only that, but his previous-high series, a 768, came at the lanes about two years ago.
Axsom Martial Arts of Newport News made a strong showing at the State AAU Karate Championships in Glen Allen April 13, with its 21 competitors bringing home 29 gold medals, 19 silvers and 17 bronze.
Cameryn Norris and her brother Isaiah Norris, both competing in the advanced black-belt division, led the dojo's performance. Cameryn captured golds in kumite, kata, kobudo and in team kumite for girls ages 12 to 14. Isaiah, in the 14-15 division, won golds in kobudo and team kumite and silvers in kata and kumite.
Austin Galeski, 15-16 intermediates, earned golds in kumite, kata, kobudo and team kumite.
Triple gold medalists included Amadou Diallo, 12-14 novice; Deshawn Sampson, girls 12-14 novice; and Jim McHenry, men's 35-45 novice.
In the 15-16 girls' beginner class, Morgan Barnes won three golds. She also moved up to the novice division and took gold in kumite and silver in kata.
The Bull Moose Bruisers — comprised of Michael Walker, Isaiah Norris and Galeski — won the Grand Champion Gold Cup title against black-belt teams ages 15-17, while the team of Cameryn Norris, Sampson and Diallo took the Gold Cup for all ranks 11-14 in the heavyweight division.
Will Christian of Norfolk and Kathleen Lautzenheiser of Midlothian topped the Run the D.O.G. Street 5K in Colonial Williamsburg on Saturday.
Christian, 29, led the men in 15 minutes and 4 seconds. He was followed by Brayden Burleigh, 20, of Midlothian (15:08) and Adam Otstot of Williamsburg (18:07).
Lautzenheiser, 21, headed the women in 18:07. Second place went to Jillian Goodwin, 23, of Arlington (18:17) and third to Nora O'Malley, 24, of Vienna (18:57).
The top local women's finisher was Jennifer Quarles of Williamsburg, winner of the 40-44 division in 19:43. ...
In the Junior League of Hampton Roads Race for a Better Place 5K on Saturday at the Mariners' Museum, Edwynn Collins, 32, of Newport News took the men's title in 19:00 and Shontel Powell, 34, of Newport News prevailed over the women in 24:19.
In the 8K race, shortened to 4.4 miles, winners included Douglas Malone, 47, of Yorktown (29:39) and Sara McMahen, 22, of Newport News (34:48).