Lathrop sends three to rifle Junior Olympics

FAIRBANKS, Ak-Just like the promising young skiers up on Birch Hill going down the slopes in the Junior National Cross Country Ski Championships a couple of our top rifle athletes will be going to the National Junior Olympic Championships in Colorado Springs next month.

Four Junior Olympians will be representing Alaska and three are from Lathrop high school. The trio is senior Kasey Barnes and sophomores JT Schnering and Connor Gillman. The Malemutes finished second in regionals back in December.

I caught up with the dedicated group today at the TVSA rifle range as they were shooting in a national virtual match during spring break.

"It's pretty exciting. I wasn't expecting it, I mean, I was trying for it, but the results came up and I was psyhced," Schnering said.
Barnes is just pleased to have the chance on to perform on a big stage.

"I think it'll be good, I mean, when we get down there it's a completely different game, because everyone is so good down there. I don't expect to be on top or anything, but it'll be nice to hopefully be competitive," Barnes.

Head coach Lathrop Curtis Watkins says his team has demonstrated the dedication and chemisty needed to make a run at the Junior Olympics.

"It's an incredible group of kids. Like I said, it's the perfect storm. They have incredible talent, an incredible work ethic, and they have fun together too, so that's totally awesome."