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shooters is she has a won- derful work ethic, and has given up things like being with her family to be here to train with us in Georgia,” said her coach Craig Han- cock. “She has a dream, has GHÀQHG KHU JRDOV DQG KDV really stuck to the plan while never veering away from that path. She remains humble both in victory and defeat which is in my opinion the mark of the highest champi- ons.” Katie grew up less than

a mile from the North Ma- comb Sportsmen’s Club outside her hometown of Rochester and her range experiences cemented her bond with the sport and the connection it created with her family. Her dad, Ted, was a good freestyle wres- tler in his day, going as far as making the Australian Olym- pic Team in 1988 before having to withdraw due to a torn bicep. He helped instill that competitiveness in his daughter. Katie comes from a long lineage of great ath- letes. Her great grandfather played football at Minnesota and her grandfather played football for Michigan. According to her dad, Ka-

tie wanted to begin wrestling at age seven and it made him stop and think. He didn’t want to see his daughter so broke up physically with inju- ries. So, he went down the street to North Macomb and asked if shooting was an Olympic sport. “Little did we know it was the beginning of Katie’s journey,” he says. There’s a maturity level

WKDW GHÀHV KHU DJH 6KH speaks of her recent suc- FHVV VWDWLQJ WKDW VKH ´ÀQDO- ly” put it all together despite the fact that she’s still just 16 competing in an event that is as ripe with talent in the U.S. as any other Olym- pic shooting event.

Not to

mention she’s only been serious about this for about three years now.

Hancock describes his

latest prodigy as a relent- less worker. Home-schooled and living on her own Skeet range, she has plenty of time to try and perfect her craft, spending as much as six hours a day, six days a week.

“She is willing to work countless hours on our psy- chological skills training program and vision skills RQ DQG RII WKH ÀHOG ZKLFK

most athletes typically ig- nore,” Hancock said. “She follows my training regimen faithfully the whole and has FRQÀGHQFH LW ZRUNV 7KHUH is really no such thing as an overnight success. There is always an underlying cause, basically someone who has worked many hours at some- thing that no one has seen.” The grind has only strengthened Katie’s love for the sport as she credits hard work for the success she’s found thus far. She’s giving up a normal high school ex- perience and the family time she cherishes, but in her mind it’s not so much giving up as it is taking advantage of opportunity and satisfying a drive second to none. “There’s been a lot of big decisions,” Jacob says. “But it’s all worth it particularly to see everything come togeth- er like it has. It’s already proven that it is worth it. Her family agrees whole-

heartedly. “Is there really D VDFULÀFH WR ZDWFK \RXU child achieve their goals?” asks Monica. “What makes it worth it is seeing the look on her face when she goes back to compete in the world championships after medal-

ing in Cyprus.

Seeing her

compete at this level at such a young age is absolutely amazing. It’s also great to see how family can come together to support her and her endeavors. As parents, it is our role to give your child/ children the support and ed- ucation to grow into strong, independent adults whom can strive to achieve beyond the norm.” She readily admits she misses home.

The second

\RXQJHVW RI ÀYH PLVVHV WKH interaction she has with her brothers and sisters, includ- ing youngest Jacenta, who won a gold medal in her age group at last year’s Junior Olympics as a 13-year-old. “I do miss some of it. But

I get to meet so many dif- ferent athletes from other countries that come to the house and train here. I get to meet a lot of the kids that have the same goals as I do. I can really relate to them. 7KHUH·V EHQHÀWV DQG GRZQ- falls to it. But when it comes down to what I want to do in the end, I think it’s the best way to get there.”

May 2016 | USA Shooting News 61

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