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– and just competing there kind of made me realize it’s just another match, I’m still shooting, it doesn’t matter where I’m shooting. Think that kind of helped me set- tle in and relax a little bit on this trip. This trip to Germa- ny and Austria was amazing – it felt amazing being able to beat Barbara [Engleder] – I couldn’t believe it for a while, I was tearing up. Did I really just do that? I was just shooting!

So you just started shooting four years ago – do you consider yourself a contender for the Rio Olympic team? Yes. I’m training re-

ally hard, doing the same things that I’ve been doing because they seem to be working! It’s been incredibly humbling too to compete at the level where I can shoot with people like Sarah Beard and Sarah Scherer, let alone share a podium with them.

What do you learn from the veterans on the team when you travel and compete? I learn a lot of stuff, like little tips and tricks. For ex- ample, bring a soft case to carry your gun to and from the range, rather than lug- ging your big case around. Or bring this because it will make something easier – lots of small tips and tricks, especially for travelling. Like have a little bag for your passport in addition to your backpack – little things like that have made things a lot easier.

What has been your biggest athletic achieve- ment thus far? I would

to say winning that

probably have Final

against Barbara Engleder. 7KHQ ,·G KDYH WR VD\ WKH À UVW Junior Final in Austria be- cause I shot a personal best that was a really, really high personal best.

Who do you look up to in this sport?

Sarah Scherer, Matt Em- mons and Jason Parker. It’s been really cool to meet them too. I was a little scared when I met Matt Em- mons because here’s this living legend in shooting that I’m looking up to and he’s just sitting there talking to me like there’s nothing out of the ordinary; like it’s nor- mal for me to be talking to people as accomplished as he is. That was kind of scary, kind of humbling and kind of cool too. Then there’s Jason Parker. He’s an extremely ac- complished shooter. I hope that someday I can earn as many World Cup medals as he has, and his accomplish- ments serve as an incred- ible inspiration for me in my own shooting career. I

also admire his willingness to share his knowledge. He recognized my potential and has gone on to inspire, en- courage, challenge and sup- port my efforts.

How does your family fi t into everything? I’m the only one in my

family who shoots. A lot of them are kind of confused that I’m interested in some- thing that – I guess you could say mundane – but they’re also interested be- cause they’re thinking “Well she was able to do this, why can’t I?” They have the club easily accessible to them too. My sister started at the same time I did, but she didn’t like it so she stopped.

Do you have any advice for a new, up-and-com- ing shooter? Don’t let anybody’s pre-

determined standards get in your way. A lot of people will think “I can’t do this well be- cause I’ve only been shoot- ing for so long.” It doesn’t matter how long. If you want to go for it, do it. Don’t let anybody’s standards of how you should be doing stop you from doing better.

What is the most in- teresting bit of advice you’ve received? Honestly, it probably

came from my mom. She al- ways says “Just treat it like a horse show. Just ride every step.” (I’ve shown horses for about 15 years.) When you’re in the ring, you don’t quit until the placings are called. You always keep go- ing — you always keep show- ing. That taught me just to put all my energy into every shot I take and to just never take it for granted. Put every- thing I’ve got into every shot.

What’s your advice on dealing with nerves? They have as much con-

trol over you as you let them. If you don’t let them control you, then they’re not going to. Everyone is going to be nervous, but whether or not you act on those nerves and you let it get to you — let it inhibit your performance — that’s a choice. They only in- hibit your performance when you let them.

March 2016 | USA Shooting News 61

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