From The Tribune staff reports
SPRINGVILLE — A Springville teen was selected to compete at the Junior Open Agility World Championship (JOAWC) competition in Finland on July 15-17, 2022.
Coach Susan Cochran announced the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) 2022 AKC USA Junior World Agility Team on February 24, 2022. Sterling Wanninger and her Australian Shepherd, JT, of Springville, are one of 23 juniors and their K-9 partners selected that will represent the USA in Finland.
“We are incredibly proud of these junior handlers for accomplishing their goal of making the Team and competing at the Junior Open Agility World Championships (JOAWC) July in Finland,” Cochran said.
JT is the only Australian Shepherd on the team that will be running 29 dogs. The K-9 partners include four All American dogs, one Australian Shepherd, 13 Border Collies, one American Cocker, three Golden Retrievers, two Miniature American Shepherd, one Miniature Poodle, two Shetland Sheepdogs, one Belgian Tervuren, and a Beagle.
Wanninger is on a team that consists of 21 females and two male juniors. They represent 14 states across the United States of America, including Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
This team trains daily in preparation to compete at the highest level of junior dog agility.
JOAWC is an agility competition officially recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) (World Canine Organization) – and is the largest international federation of kennel clubs. Each country can enter a maximum of 28 dogs. The individual competition is held in categories of large, medium, and small dogs and divided into three handler age categories: U12 (under 12 years old), U15 (12-14 years old), and U19 (15-18 years old).
Wanninger and JT will be competing in the large dog category.
Categories each junior and their K-9 partners will be competing in:
USA Small Dog Team: Brie Schaff and Sheltie Streak from Texas; Danielle Wagner and Mini Poodle Rainee from Minnesota; Maddie Koeppe and her Beagle Magic from Washington; Sarah Ford and Mini American Shepherd Hazel from Kentucky; Ryan Ford and Mini American Shepherd Denali from Kentucky; and Meg Loesch and her American Cocker Daisy from Washington.
USA Medium Dog Team: Ava Gardner and Sheltie Merlee from Minnesota; Allyssa Daube and All American Piper from Illinois; and Abby Zerm and her All American Halley from Georgia.
USA Large Dog Teams: Abby Zerm and Border Collie Taupe from Georgia; Finley Richgels and Border Collie Joker from Wisconsin; Jada Sawhney and Border Collie Zula from Florida; Maggie Hill and Border Collie Breeze from California; Danielle Wagner and Border Collie Twix from Minnesota; Kinze Williams and Belgian Tervuren Voo from Alaska; Katie Cones and Border Collie Dash from North Carolina; Tian Griffith and Border Collie Luna from North Carolina; Ashlynn Faas and Border Collie Nick from Minnesota; Sterling Wanninger and her Australian Shepherd JT from Alabama; Deltin Cinotto and Border Collie Rascal from Illinois; and Katie Doane and her Golden Retriever Jolt from Wisconsin.
USA Alternate Teams: Charlotte Gunby and her Mixed Breed English Shepherd Archie from Wisconsin; Katie Williamson and her Golden Retriever Voulez from Louisiana; Tessa Trusner and her All American Lina from Virginia; Chloe Bales and her Border Collie Nova from Virginia; Finley Richgels and her Border Collie Charisma from Wisconsin; Jada Sawhney and her Border Collie Smudge from Florida; Katie Doane and her Golden Retriever Lucy from Wisconsin; and Maggie Hill and her Border Collie Trix.
These juniors do not have sponsors and are responsible for funding their trip. If you want to donate, it can be made through the Team’s PayPal account: PAYPAL.ME/AKCEOJ18. All donations go directly to the team. You may designate your money to the team, a specific junior, or breed. In addition, most of the juniors have some sort of a PayPal account linked to their Facebook page.