Colorado Springs, CO -(Ammoland.com)- Remember the name – Elizabeth Marsh. She’s got game and this week the 16-year-old Arkansas native proved it in Women’s Rifle competition to kick-off the 2015 National Junior Olympic Championships (NJOSC).
On Tuesday, she claimed top honors in Air Rifle, and today she completed a dominating performance with an impressive Smallbore (.22 caliber) display. She was six points better in qualification and then shot a world-level Final, besting her nearest opponent by 12.1 points. In fact, her Finals score of 459.3 is 3.5 points better than the current Junior World Record (455.8) set by China’s Ruijiao Pei at last year’s World Championship.
Marsh’s confidence and arrival seemingly took place back in February on these same ranges competing at the Rocky Mountain Rifle Championships. In an event that included several National Team members, she won the Three-Position Smallbore event and finished fourth in Air Rifle. Catherine Green in 2012 was the last NJOSC double gold medalist in women’s rifle competition.
Her latest mentor, three-time Olympic medalist Matt Emmons, offered this when asked how Marsh has found such success so early in her career:
“She has a ton of things going for her. First, she likes to shoot and wants to go far with it. From the get-go when she was shooting sporter airgun, her dad, Rick, had Troy Bassham coach her. Troy did a very good job at getting her started on the right path. He got her into solid positions and immediately started teaching her mental skills. That foundation is a big reason why she’s doing what she is now at age 16. Next, she has a great support system behind her. Her parents are very involved (in a good way) and her dad is with her on the range almost every day. Rick is a super smart guy who knows what it takes to be successful and is using those skills to help with Liz’s shooting. With all of us coaching her, we all bring different skills sets and experiences to the table to help her because no one person knows everything.”
“Her approach is great. She has an excellent outlook of wanting to do very well, but not to the point of wanting it too much that she gets in her own way. She’s a good sportswoman, too, and is happy to shake someone else’s hand when they do well. On top of that, she’s not afraid to work. She trains hard and she trains smart.”
“All of the above things set her apart from the average shooter her age. It’s almost like the perfect storm. As far as the future, that’s totally up to her. I’m confident she is capable of achieving whatever she wants so long as the motivation and love for the game is always there.”
“Personally, it’s a pleasure to work with her. She’s a great young lady that’s excited about going after crazy dreams. I’m having a great time watching her grow as an athlete and a person.”
Finishing second in the Three-Position Rifle competition to earn her USA Shooting Team designation was Hanna Carr (Versailles, Kentucky) while Ginny Thrasher (Springfield, Virginia) was awarded the bronze medal. Carr will be a Kentucky Wildcat next year while Thrasher is headed for West Virginia University.
Marsh wasn’t the only impressive performance and double gold-medal producer this week. The youngest competitor in the field at age 11, Katie Zaun (Buffalo, North Dakota) stood atop the podium twice in the J3 (14 years or younger) category. Molly McGhin (Griffin, Georgia) finished second twice to Zaun. In the J2 age bracket (15-17 years of age), Casey Lutz (Meridian, Idaho) was a double medalist as well, earning silver in Smallbore, bronze in Air.
Another notable performance was put forth by Ole Miss Rifle product Jessica Haig (Constableville, New York) as she was only other athlete besides Marsh to make both event finals, finishing fifth in Air and seventh in Three-Position.
About USA Shooting
USA Shooting, a 501c3 non-profit corporation, was chartered by the United States Olympic Committee as the National Governing Body for the sport of shooting in April 1995. USA Shooting’s mission is to prepare American athletes to win Olympic medals, promote the shooting sports throughout the U.S. and govern the conduct of international shooting in the country.
ELEY is a Proud Sponsor of the USA Shooting Rifle and Pistol Teams: ELEY Limited, manufacturer of the world’s most consistently accurate rimfire ammunition, has been the Official Sponsor and Official Supplier of .22 rimfire ammunition of the USA Shooting rifle and pistol teams since 2000.
For more information on ELEY and their products, please visit eley.co.uk.