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Darian Shenk

Darian Shenk is the one of the young rising stars in the Pistol discipline and has moved to Colorado Springs to be a part of a world-class training environment. In order for you to get to know her, we’ve asked the questions you wanted answered.

Q: What got you started in shooting? A: I actually started with archery about seven years ago (my inspiration for that was Legolas from “The Lord of the Rings”), and while I was practicing, it was noted that I was very steady with a bow. I was informed of the pistol program in the basement. I went to one of the practices, found it interesting and joined the team the next week.

Q: What motivates you? A: The adrenaline rush I fi rst experienced when I actually made it into the Finals for the fi rst time. It’s so exhilarating. My body starts to shake and still being able to shoot 10s through that is the most amazing thing ever to me. All of my training is dedi- cated to ensuring that I can feel that adrenaline rush again.

Q: What was behind your decision to apply to USA Shooting’s Resident Athlete Program? A: After I quit college and moved back home, I felt like I was stuck in a bit of a rut. I would work eight hours, go home and train, and repeat the next day. I really missed the college life too. I love shooting, but I wanted a higher education. When I talked with Teresa Chambers, she told me about DeVry and how they offer a scholarship program. Afterwards, I made it my goal to get into the Training Center based off of that. I get to train with my teammates, and on top of that I get the nutrition and equipment that I need to make my training as effec- tive as possible. And there are so many people aside from my teammates that are willing to help me. It’s kind of like a big family, and I’m proud to be a new member of it.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received about this sport? A: My mom provided me with a real eye opener. She told me that I needed to fi nd training drills that were fun to me; ones that got my blood pumping like it would in a match. Ever since then I’ve been trying to base my training plan around that, and while I haven’t perfected it, I fi nd it much more enjoy- able now.

Q: Talk about the confi dence you gained from winning a match during the recent Pistol Selection Match. A: Winning just one day in this past match has done wonders for me. For a year, I’ve been having a problem where my match scores are nowhere near my prac- tice scores, and it’s been hard to get into the fi nals in competitions. Making the fi nals and coming out in fi rst made me remember what I could do. I remem- bered that matches shouldn’t have to be as diffi cult as I was making them, and that if I just mentally train hard enough, I’ll be able to keep my cool in the qualifi cation round and come out on top again and again.

Q: Who do you look up to? A: I really look up to Teresa Chambers and Sandra Uptagrafft. Both of them

work so hard, and I really enjoy conversing with them any time I get the chance. I learn so much from both of them. And it’s a bit embarrassing to men- tion, but it was really important to me when the both of them helped to take care of me when I got really sick at a match in Mexico. They are truly the teammates that I look up to the most, and I want to learn from them as much as I can.

May 2014 | USA Shooting News 37

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