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Athlete Feature: Janessa Beaman

Janessa Beaman: Reaching for the Stars

The tattoos, body pierc-

ings and claw-like nails make you think Janessa Beaman found her way into the wrong sport. See her shoot and all doubt is erased. She was born to do this and in 2014 she showed why. “I’ve heard recently that

I set a bad example with my gangster tattoos,” Beaman acknowledges. “My tattoos consist of a windmill and a dirt road special to me and my dad, fl owers and Doc Hol- liday. Tell me where I’m gang- ster? I would just like to get past being the girl with the tattoos. I know you obviously put yourself out there with stuff like that, but I just want my personality to be known. I don’t know many gangsters who hunt, listen to country music and post pictures for Whitetail Wednesday.” Image is one thing, char-

acter another. And she has plenty of that to spare. What- ever the package, there’s no denying it works. It would take a pickup truck to haul all her awards from this year

alone; a breakout year un- like any other. She stuffed her resume

with shooting statistics too numerous to mention, but the highlights include: fi rst American female Trap shoot- er to earn a World Cup Fi- nals medal (silver) and earn three international medals in the same year; American Trap Association (ATA) fi rst- team All American while earning nine trophies overall at the Grand American and winning High All-Around at the Fall Grand ATA. This hardware was

earned over a nine-month period in which Beaman competed in over 18 events across the country and around the world. For now, all the travel and competi- tion has taken its toll with a worn-out Beaman ready to take some time off. But the taste of success won’t keep her away for long. The allure of shooting

full ATA and USA Shooting seasons is a fascination for most of our shotgun com-

munity. No one has made it look as easy as Beaman. She’s doing things no one has done before her, and her coaches believe it has a lot to do with instinct, ag- gression and attitude. “Whenever Janessa is in

a match, she has that killer instinct,” said Assistant Shotgun Coach Dwayne We- ger. “She believes that she will win and is mad when she fi nishes anywhere below fi rst. She is not satisfi ed with being anything but the best. It is this level of confi dence and determination that has propelled her success.” “Janessa’s approach and

outlook on shooting, as well as life, is defi nitely what sets her apart from the crowd,” said Assistant Coach Jay Waldron. “Her aggressive, all-in attitude has played a huge role in her recent shooting success.” Imagine what she could

do if she actually cared about practicing. A self- described big-event shooter, she admits a reluctance to practice when there’s noth- ing at stake and there’s no amount of practice that mimics the intensity that happens when she’s behind the gun competing in big matches. “Shooting in ATA keeps

me in match mode all the time,” Beaman admits. “It’s a game of perfection and I just think shooting with that

20 USA Shooting News | Year in Review 2014

mindset, in those big match- es, really prepares me more than any amount of practice when shooting international style.” Invested most in her suc-

cess is proud father Jay. His Facebook wall is a rolling chronicle of Janessa’s lat- est triumphs and tribula- tions in the sport, complete with analysis, coaching and plenty of love. The two share an inseparable bond, born from the time she moved in with him at age 14, nur- tured through their love of shooting and hunting, and cemented by their competi- tiveness and motivation. “He would do absolutely

anything for me,” said Jan- essa of her father. “I could be 40 and still doing this and he’d work whatever job he could to support me. He’s legitimately my best friend. If not for him, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today because he always keeps me on the right track. He’s always there to push me, but he’s going to be the fi rst to catch me too.” Tattooed on her trigger

fi nger is the word “reach” and it’s foretelling as much as it is prefacing. Once she fi res her trusty Krieghoff, her other three fi ngers then reveal the rest of the moti- vating phrase “for the stars.” It’s not a reach to think, giv- en her 2014 success, she’ll do just that eventually.

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