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Pre-Med. Musician. Olympic Hopeful. Ryan Anderson is Planning For Success


When talking to University of


Alaska Fairbanks rifl e standout Ryan Anderson, one thing be- comes painfully obvious: It must be exhausting being Ryan Ander- son.


Sure, it may sound fl ippant, but the 20-year-old two-time NCAA All-American has a lot on his plate. He talks coolly but quickly, as if there isn’t enough time to get it all out and it doesn’t seem to faze him. Anderson (Wasilla, Alaska) started 2014 strong on the range: In Decem- ber at the Winter Airgun Cham- pionships, Anderson placed fi rst and second in two of the three Open Category fi nals, qualifying him to compete at the Bavarian Airgun Championships in Janu- ary and later in Air Rifl e at World Cup USA at Fort Benning, Ga. in


March. In early January at the Rifl e Selection Match, he also qualifi ed as one of three men to represent the United States in Three-Position Rifl e at the same World Cup. Not to mention, his second-ranked Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks will be shooting for their 11th National Champion- ship in mid-March. That’s a lot for any Junior Team and elite col-


National


lege athlete to undertake as is. Anderson, however, declined his appointment to the Bavarian Airgun Championships team be- cause he had to take his Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) at the same time. The pre-med ju- nior with a music minor intends to enroll at the University of Washington in Seattle following graduation to become a doc-


tor….but not before he takes a run at qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Team. And just as any shooting ath- lete has a match plan, Anderson has a plan for how to make it all work.


“I graduate in the spring of 2015 and the Olympics are in the summer of 2016. Assuming I get into medical school, I will be applying as a regular stu- dent, and assuming I could be matriculated in to school the fall of 2015, and assuming I get acceptance, I’m going to see if I can defer that for a year so I can train. Because, from what I understand, you don’t have time to be anything but a medical student when you’re in medical school,” he said. “I want to take my goal of going to the Olympics seriously as well so I would try to defer that acceptance for a year. If not? I’ll just try and reapply the next year and try to get in twice if that’s the case. “People are always like ‘How


are you not stressed out by that stuff’ but it really hasn’t been a big problem for me – stress is always around, you just have to deal with it.”


Anderson started shooting


when he was in the sixth grade with his father when the area range in Virginia sent him to a garage across the street to “learn to shoot like they do in the Olym- pics.” That same year, his dad signed him up for his fi rst match. “I was like ‘I’m not ready to


start shooting matches yet’ and he just signed me up for one. I


30 USA Shooting News | March 2014


didn’t think I was ready, but I got second in my age category and was like ‘whoa,’ so it was kind of from that fi rst match that I kept moving up and gaining confi - dence.” Now, bird hunting and piano seem to help with the “dealing” – even when he’s at the Olym- pic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. for matches, he wanders down to a local church that allows him free use of their piano to play jazz, Beethoven and Rachmaninoff whenever he likes.


“When I got to the college


level, I completed a music mi- nor in my fi rst two years so it’s a very important part of my life. I’ve done some jazz stuff and vo- cal stuff. Right now I’m not doing much of it since I’m fi nishing up my studies with shooting and ev- erything…” “I fi nd I can’t do any one thing for a long period of time, which is something a lot of shooters seem to be able to do,” he said, talking from a break during a match in West Virginia. “They can completely engulf themselves in one thing like shooting. I have a lot of interests and if I do just one thing, I get tired of it and I get frustrated or bored. I have to have other things to do or I will just lose interest and my per- formance will go down in one of those areas. Having other things to do is really an important thing for me to do well at any one thing in the fi rst place.”


PHOTO BY BRAD ARMSTRONG


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