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National Team Member: David Higgins


An Air Force Academy Cadet’s Drive To Become a Top Marksman and Offi cer


By Madeline McGuire USAFA Media Relations


It’s not often the U.S. Air


Force Academy sends a ca- det to an event such as a World Championship. But this fall, Air Force will have one of its own in Granada, Spain, as junior David Hig- gins (San Clemnte, Cali- fornia) competes for the


I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue Rifl e as my primary sport,” said Higgins. Higgins felt lucky to have


a family that supported his drive to become the best, as his plan included constant training and shooting, even if it meant turning his fam-


ents would wake up around 4:30 to take me to matches that were over 100 miles away. As I got older, I was able to use my parents’ cars and drive the hundreds of miles a week in order to train and compete.” Higgins decided to pursue


“David came to the Acad-


emy with a strong back- ground in high-power rifl e,” said Meili. “He was really just beginning his Smallbore and Air Rifl e career, but it didn’t take long for the foun- dation he built in high power to serve him well in the other events.”


In Spain, Higgins will join three- time Olympic gold medalist Matt Emmons and 2012 Olympian Michael McPhail in Prone.


Higgins’ drive to become


one of the top marksmen on the Academy’s team led him to a steady rise in his perfor- mance, from the fi rst match of his career to eventually making the World Champi- onship team. Higgins’ succession to the


United States in Prone Rifl e at the International Shoot- ing Sports Federation (ISSF) World Championship. As a youngster, Higgins


was not one to shy away from competitive sports. However, early on, Higgins knew he wanted to pursue competitive rifl e. “I was 13 when I fi rst began shoot- ing Rifl e competitively, and


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ily’s home into a practice range or traveling long dis- tances for matches. “I began to train nearly


every day, which sometimes meant shooting my Air Rifl e 10 meters from the living room, through the kitchen and down the hallway into a pellet trap,” said Higgins. “Every Saturday morning, before I could drive, my par-


USA Shooting News | September 2014


a career in the U.S. Air Force as an offi cer, and knew then that his future would lie at the Air Force Academy. “It wasn’t until the summer before my senior year that I really felt a drive to attend the Academy,” Higgins said. He got that chance when he caught the eye of Olym- pic gold medalist and head coach Launi Meili.


World Championship began in 2013 with several USA Shooting matches. He com- peted in the National Junior Olympic Games, earning a bronze medal, and became eligible for the Spring Selec- tion Matches. In 50m Prone, he scored 621.3, 623.1 and 624.6 and earned 18 points toward his overall total 1887.0 for third place, quali- fying for his fi rst-ever World Championship.


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