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Tulsa Teen Wins International Skeet World Championship

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Jon Michael McGrath, 17, won the 2009 International Skeet World Championship held at the Tulsa Gun Club. Jon Michael McGrath, 17, won the 2009 International Skeet World Championship held at the Tulsa Gun Club.
McGrath is pictured with Byeong-Hun An who won the US Amateur Golf Championship at Southern Hills. Both are 17. McGrath is pictured with Byeong-Hun An who won the US Amateur Golf Championship at Southern Hills. Both are 17.

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa teenager set what is likely to be confirmed as a world record in skeet shooting. It came during a weekend competition held at the Tulsa Gun Club.

It takes a lot of paperwork to have a world record certified, but the hard part is training to get to where you think you've set a record.

A young Tulsan is there now and has his sights set even higher.

A Tulsa teenager is a world champion when it comes to skeet shooting.

Jon Michael McGrath, 17, won the 2009 International Skeet World Championship held at the Tulsa Gun Club.

McGrath is a veteran of skeet shooting competitions, even though he's only 17. Now, he's not only experienced, he's one of the best.

"I set my goals high and ended up doing very well," said Jon Michael McGrath.

This weekend, he hit 199 out of 200 straight targets, which is a new record and slightly better than what he says was his personal best of 397 out of 400.

"I went out there, did my best and came back with a medal," said McGrath.

The International World Skeet shooting Championship is a major amateur championship for the skeet shooting world.

McGrath had plenty of more experienced competitors, but figures younger people have the advantage of hand and eye coordination gained from growing up with computer games. He has been training since he was 11 and hopes to make it to the 2012 Olympics.

"Four months after I started, I started winning tournaments and we kept pursuing it and my next goal is to go to the Olympics and medal," said McGrath.

Before that, McGrath has to get through high school biology. He's a senior this year at Bishop Kelly, who does school work and about 10 hours of training each week.

His success has taken him to five foreign competitions and away from school a lot.

That's one reason he was happy to win the championship medal at a contest held in Tulsa.

"All my tournaments are international or at the Olympic training center, somewhere other than Tulsa, and I wanted to show them what it's like and what I'm doing when I'm not at school," said McGrath.

With that kind of accuracy, there's not much room for improvement. The standings come through points at competitions over time that could well determine who eventually gets to the Olympics.

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