I began shooting in Baltimore’s 4H marksmanship program when I was 15 years old, 4 years ago. Joe Liedig and Leo Wolf coached me for the year I shot for the 4H team. Mr. Liedig brought me to the club that we shot at in New Freedom, PA on a Tuesday night to shoot with Seitzland’s Junior team and become a member of the club. From there, I began shooting up to 4 times a week with the Junior Team, traveling across Pennsylvania to compete in matches every weekend. We shot air rifle at 10 meters and small bore at 50 feet indoors during the winter. Over the summer we shot small bore outside at 50 and 100 yards. I was with Seitzland’s Junior Team for 2 years until I joined Morehead State University’s Rifle team here in Morehead, Kentucky this past fall (2014). In January I shot a qualifying match in Jerome, PA in order to shoot at the Olympic Training Center In Colorado Springs, Colorado. I qualified with my air rifle.
The official title of the match is called The 2015 Women’s Air Junior Olympic Shooting Competition. There were 184 girls competing, I shot a 401.1 and a 400.1, placing me 55th/184 after both days of shooting and all relays were completed. I was content with this placing, however I hope to return next year and improve to my full potential. It was the most prodigious experience I have encountered and I will never forget it. Having the opportunity to compete for a spot on the Olympic Team is unbelievable and I’m honored to have had this opportunity. I have competed with many of the girls over the years in Anniston, Alabama; Camp Perry, Ohio; Bristol, Indiana; and throughout this past year shooting for my college team.
I have always shot for Pennsylvania, however, being a non-resident has meant that I am unable to qualify for awards, medals and some matches. I am hoping to begin shooting in Maryland soon and to return to the Junior Olympics in the spring of 2016 and represent Baltimore, Maryland.
By Haley Wilson