Shooting Sports USA - January 2011 - (Page 16)

FEATURE // INTERVIEW With bell-bottom pants, bare feet and a 1977 hairstyle, teenager Nancy proudly poses with her father, Artie Clark, her match rifle and High Woman Highpower National Champion award. Nancy Tompkins INTERVIEW PHOTO COURTESY OF NANCY TOMPKINS As the popular matriarch of the First Family of Shooting, Nancy has shot on six Palma teams, a World F-Class team and the Smallbore Roberts team, earning her four National Long Range Championships, five Leech Cups, a Wimbledon Cup, five gold and two silver medals in World Championships. By Art Merrill into long range shooting and eventually got on the Palma Team. And that’s when I really got focused.” Focused enough that the 1985 team was the first with a woman shooter to win the World Championship Palma match in England. “They still talk about it in England,” Nancy said, laughing again. “They didn’t like it.” Diaries Help: Nancy never had to work hard at prone shooting, but sitting and offhand were a different matter. In addition to mental training, she put a lot of time into trying out adjustments to her position and equipment, which she recorded meticulously in her shooting diary. She returned to diligently using a diary following a 2008 car crash that left her with serious injuries. A shattered leg kept her wheelchair-bound for months. A broken upper arm and torn shoulder rotator cuff could have ended her shooting career, but Nancy cajoled her doctor into giving those injuries special attention so that she could continue competing. The injuries caused her to modify her shooting positions, and the diary helped her track what worked and what didn’t. Less than two years after the crash, the name “Nancy Tompkins” appears on match rosters again. “I can’t complain. Yeah, I have pain every day, but who cares? There’s a lot of people who have pain every day,” she said. “I’m alive, I’m walking, I can do what I love doing, and I just deal with it.” Nancy (l.) at the 2010 Soldier of the Year ceremony with one of two accomplished daughters—Sherri, winner of the award. mallbore to Highpower: Like many top shooters, Nancy started young with a .22 cal. rifle. “After one of my Dad’s hunter safety classes, we went to the range at the Phoenix Rod & Gun Club to shoot smallbore,” said Nancy. “I fell in love with it, instantly.” She was 13 years old. She quickly improved enough for smallbore competition at Camp Perry where she also tried her hand at highpower with an M1A. “Then I kinda ran 16 SSUSA JANUARY 2011 PHOTO BY MIKE MOLINARO, USAMU S away from smallbore for awhile,” she said, “but now I like them both.” Using a borrowed Winchester Model 70 in .308, Nancy spent her summers shooting highpower with Mid Tompkins, Bob Jensen and his daughters. “I did that for I don’t know how many years,” she said, eventually taking that rifle to the 1977 National Championships. “By the time you get to the Nationals at Camp Perry, you’re kinda peaked out, at a good spot,” she said. “After doing that, I got more

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - January 2011

Shooting Sports USA - January 2011
Competitors’ Corner
Shooter’s News
Range Bag
Score Sheet
Black Hills Ammunition
Nancy Tompkins Interview
NRA Headquarters Shooters
Match Versus Service Rifle
A Page From History
Coming Events
Member Info./Classified Ads

Shooting Sports USA - January 2011