Local athlete earns Junior Olympic application invite

One of seven local athletes representing Kachemak Skeeters youth sport shooting club at the Alaska State Junior Olympics Qualifying Event for trap and international skeet, Connor Seay has earned an invitation to apply for Junior Olympic tryouts in Colorado Springs this summer.

The event was held at Birchwood Shooting Range near Anchorage the weekend of March 22-23.

Also participating from the Kachemak Skeeters were Sierra and Dakota Morris, Elias Graham, Andy Fetterhoff,  Zack Fraley and Kyle Johnson.

In the main event “wobbles” competition, Sierra Morris placed high overall and first in her division; sister Dakota placed second in her division. Seay and Graham placed third in their division, with Seay earning a silver medal in the shoot-off. 

The event was an opportunity for athletes from all over the state to compete for the invitation to try out for the U.S. Junior Olympic Shooting. Only the top three finishers of each division in the medal rounds will receive such invitations.

Having the event in Alaska “is a pretty big deal. It’s the first time ever, so this was a good opportunity for our kids,” said Jeff Graham, Kachemak Skeeters’ head coach.

Graham was clear to add, however, that for the estimated 40 participants at Birchwood, this event is only one step toward qualifying for the Junior Olympics.

“The top three shooters have the ability to apply, but it’s quite a selection process,” said Graham. “You have to earn your spot on the team.”

Also at the Birchwood meet, Fraley shot his first perfect score of 25 during a round of wobble trap. 

“Rookie Kyle Johnson and veterans Elias Graham and Andy Fetterhoff also shot very well,” said Amy Fetterhoff, the team secretary. “When the weekend was done, these athletes shot at over 250 targets against 30 other youth.”

Support for the Kachemak Skeeters to attend the Birchwood event came from Friends of NRA, Midway USA and the Homer community.

“We appreciate their support very much,” said Fetterhoff.

About 10 local youngsters participate in Kachemak Skeeters. Their ages range from 10 through 19.

“The main requirement is that you need to be able to comprehend and safely handle a gun,” said Graham. 

The club meets at the Kachemak Gun Club range, mile 160 Sterling Highway, from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. Registration is open until May 1. Anyone interested in joining can contact Fetterhoff at
399-2972 or kachemakskeeters@gmail.com.

The next competition will by the Junior Olympic Skeet Trail at Grouse Ridge in Wasilla on April 27.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.