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Driving for Success Junior Shooter Spotlight: Connor Davis BY JESSICA DELOS REYES

NOW?” I ask again with a smile, and the fl oodgates open. “Crazy socks,” he says proud-

Hometown: Shelbyville, Ky. Event: Men’s Rifl e School: University of Kentucky

ly, beaming and without hesita- tion. He proceeds to throw his foot up on the desk to show off a magenta/electric blue-striped sock peeking out from the cuff of his school-issued track pants. That’s right – this rising star on

“What are you into right now?” “Excuse me?” Connor Davis

asks back, politely. His hands are wrapped tightly around his cof- fee cup and he sits rigidly upright in his matching blue and white University of Kentucky tracksuit. “What are you into RIGHT

the rifl e scene has an obsession with crazy socks, college basket- ball (he does go to Kentucky, of course), his guitar and country music. But what do all of these things have in common – it’s the thing to which he attributes his success as a rifl e athlete: Fun. “I just love shooting,

Under a cool, calm exterior

(or as one volunteer called him, a “young Hugh Jackman”), Davis, 20, really is a very composed athlete competing as much with himself as the other shooters on the range. “Even when I don’t do well, I

it’s a

blast,” he said. “I love competing; I love the rush of when I do well, and when I’m done competing, I like that feeling.”

like the feeling of having to work hard for something, to be able to fi x it and get better. I like hav- ing the pressure and the chance to do well in front of people,” he said. “There’s no defense in this sport; it’s complete offense and so it’s within yourself to get as many points as you can – no one else can impact how you do.” Davis started in shooting

at age 14 when a friend of his mother suggested he try the shooting sports in 4H. “I was like ‘That sounds fun’

so I just started doing it for fun, picked up rifl e, went to matches, then moved up into precision and in high school I found out there was a rifl e team so I joined the Jr. ROTC, went to the Jr. ROTC national championships and my team won a couple times,” he said. “I saw USA Shooting had matches – might as well go to those – and that’s how I got here. Later got in touch with college coaches and I was like ‘might as well go to college.’” And as a freshman at the

University of Kentucky, he’s prov- ing he’s a rising star in the rifl e world as a whole – placing fourth at the NCAA Championship in the individual air rifl e event and helping the Wildcats take second as a team. Most recently at the National Junior Olympic Shoot-

Davis competed in his fi rst World Cup in early May.

He recently placed fourth in the individual air rifl e event at the NCAA Championships.

60 USA Shooting News | May 2013

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