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Athlete Feature: Garrett Spurgeon


Garrett Spurgeon: Climbing the Ranks


From a 12-year-old boy


training for one of his fi rst rifl e competitions, to a 20-year-old man claiming ju- nior titles, Garrett Spurgeon (Canton, Missouri) has risen to the top of the USA Shoot- ing world.


Spurgeon has taken his


shooting to the next level over the past year, earning three medals at the 2014 USA Shooting National Championships. He placed fi rst in Junior Men’s Air Rifl e and Three-Position Rifl e, and second in Men’s Prone Rifl e. His fi nishes helped him clench a spot on the USA Shooting Team for the 51st International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Championship, set for September. “I want to treat


[the


championships] just like the Junior Olympics or a college match,” Spurgeon, a fi ve- time All-American, said.


“It


will be different because of the travel, but I’m going try to go into that competition and treat it like any other. My main goal is to stay con- sistent.” Consistent is just what Spurgeon has been, not only in the USA Shooting realm, but also when competing for the West Virginia Univer- sity rifl e team. A junior, Spur- geon has been a Mountain- eer for the past two years, contributing heavily toward the squad’s back-to-back


national championships. While he has been practic- ing for eight years, he cred- its his consistency and im- provement as of late to his commitment to the Moun- taineers.


“Looking back to where


I was a few years ago, I have come a long way,” he explained. “My scores, my attitude and my mental preparation have improved tremendously over the last


28 USA Shooting News | September 2014


few years. WVU has played the biggest role in those things improving and chang- ing.”


Shooting with a team


proved to be exactly what Spurgeon needed to push his scores to the highest he’s ever shot. Team compe- tition plays a big part in that, and the relationships Spur- geon has established help keep it fun. “I especially like shooting


BY SARA WELLS WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS


at school because there’s always someone there. It’s a lot easier to shoot when someone else is around,” the civil engineering major said. “There’s no place like home, but shooting in Mor- gantown is a close second.” While Spurgeon contin-


ues to improve, he’s never satisfi ed. “I have a whole year or


two to work on things and try to improve, but the Olym- pics are always in the back of my mind,” he allowed. “I have to take it one step at a time, and when that step is the next step, then I’ll try to do my best there.”


Looking ahead, Spur- geon has the opportunity to continue to succeed. Po- tentially two more national championships, competing solely in the open division of USA Shooting and the 2016 Olympic Games await him. While accomplished in the shooting world, the young shooter’s career is just start- ing.


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