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Athlete’s Message: Lauren Phillips


BY LAUREN PHILLIPS NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAM


Put in the time and work and you’ll go far! Hello and welcome to the


Year in Review! As a member of the National Junior Rifl e team and a member of the University of Nebraska Rifl e Team, I’ve had many op- portunities for success and would like to thank everyone who has made my team’s goals a reality, as well as my own.


Before we begin, I’ll let


you into my past year being a member of the USA Shoot- ing Team. It all begins with my fi rst trip to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, for the 2013 Na- tional Junior Olympics. I only qualifi ed for Air Rifl e (missing the smallbore rifl e qualifi ca- tion marginally) and packed my bags and went home in


79th place. Rather than tak- ing this number with discour- agement, I met it with the goal of improvement. There were many transitions in my life over the next year, includ- ing leaving home for college, but improvement and suc- cess remained a goal. This year, I achieved my goals at the 2014 Junior Olympics at the OTC and USAS National Championships in Fort Ben- ning, Georgia, coming away with my fi rst two Junior Olym- pic titles as well as being an NCAA NRA First Team Small- bore All-American. Through my experiences I’ve found that not everyone’s equation for success is identical, but one component is always the same; quality time put


into training and the dedica- tion to hard work. With my personal suc-


cesses on the range this year, I was honored with sev- eral opportunities to com- pete with some of the most experienced athletes in our realm; including to travel to Germany and Spain for the fi rst Junior World Cup in Suhl and the 2014 World Champi- onship. While we have seen ups and downs in each dis- cipline, the strength of Team USA still prevails. On the rifl e line in Spain, I watched my fellow collegiate shooter Ryan Anderson submit a world-class score in Men’s 3P, the U.S. Army Marksman- ship Unit’s Michael McPhail take undesirable wind con- ditions and still end strong in Men’s Prone, and my Junior teammates Minden Miles and Timothy Sherry make their fi rst international fi nals in Germany. The USA Shoot- ing Team also contained the two-time Junior World Cham- pion Alex Chichkov for the pistol events, and the Olym- pic quota winners for shot- gun with Brandy Drozd and Josh Richmond. With seven Olympic and Paralympic quotas earned so far, there are reasons to reward our successes while still push- ing to earn more quotas in the upcoming matches. Along with summarizing


a little of this year’s top per- formances, I’d like to share a little gem I’ve learned through the past year: Noth-


4 USA Shooting News | Year in Review 2014


ing is more of an honor than representing something bigger than yourself. Being a part of the USA Shooting Team for the past year has transformed not only how I compete, but also how I rep- resent myself and the pro- grams I am honored to be a part of. And while we rep- resent these programs, we also need to realize that one thing is for certain: Nothing we accomplish as athletes would be possible without the support of USA Shooting staff, family, friends & fellow competitors, and those that volunteer their time for the love of their sport. Thank a supporter every day! Believing all this is real


is still a major challenge – someone pinch me. The life I’ve lived the past year through the support of USA Shooting can be described only through what I’ve ex- perienced; my fi rst interna- tional fl ight, seeing Frank- furt from the air as we were welcomed to Germany, and the several languages greet- ing the team at the door in Granada at World Champi- onships. There are so many priceless experiences USA Shooting gives its athletes each year, and I am beyond blessed to have walked in and beside the shoes of champions past and pres- ent.


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