Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 29
◀ Rachel Martin
receives a congratulatory hug
the 2015 NCAA
title in Fairbanks,
➊ Rachel Martin
for 2015, and
the result was
her first NCAA
Rifle Championship crown!
➋ Rachel made a
new friend at the
Nanook, the UAKFairbanks mascot!
kneeling, prone and standing positions.
After the first round of standing position,
the 7th and 8th placed shooters are removed
from competition. Then the 6th place
shooter is removed; then the 5th, and so
on. This is where it gets interesting.
First one out of the final four was
West Virginia's Garrett Spurgeon. Although
leading throughout most of the finals
match, Spurgeon was the first to see his
hopes at the title fall short.
Next to drop was Connor Davis from the
University of Kentucky. Keeping pace with
the leaders throughout, it appeared as if
Davis had a clear path to the 2015 title.
Unfortunately, his final pull of the trigger
landed three rungs outside the 10-ring.
"I've been working on my mental game
this year, Martin recalled. "Last year I got
the positions down and this year it was
more about what's going on upstairs.
Once I got a grip on that I've been going
up and it's been a lot more fun.
Finding a spot on the University of
Nebraska roster was essential to this
New Mexico native's success. Not because
of the equipment or facilities, or secret
shooting practices known only to those
residing in America's heartland. No, her
success was due to her teammates. Or,
as she calls them, the girls.
"The academics are great, the Athletic
Department is amazing, but when you
get right down to it was the girls-the
team. When I met them I just knew I was
supposed to be here. I couldn't ask for a
better team so that was definitely the
With her mind operating in top form,
her scores continued to rise and she
was primed for a stellar showing in the
tournament. She was armed with a solid
plan, and a little faith.
"There were a couple of times in the
final I was a little doubtful because I was
behind, but remembering why I was here
and how faithful God is really helped me
push through, do what I could do, and
shoot a good shot.
Up by .5 points, and only two competitors remaining, all Martin needed
was a 10. A perfect shot would all but
guarantee her the title. That's when she
remembered what her father told her,
and took it to heart.
"My dad said that, 'everybody takes
shortcuts in the finals. There's not a lot
of time and there is a lot of pressure.'
The one thing I have to do is [avoid]
shortcuts. That's why I'm usually the last
to shoot, because I'm remembering what
my dad said.
Taking her time, Martin waited, and
waited, and waited. The final obstacle to
her crown was Ryan Anderson from the
University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Anderson
was the hometown favorite with plenty of
fans in the stands. But Martin waited him
out. Waited for him to fire a 9.1. All she
needed was an 8.7 She shot a 9.3.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of her
right now, said fellow Cornhusker Lauren
Phillips. "She's been shooting amazing
scores over the last couple of months, and
this just goes to show you that hard work
and concentration can really pay off.
As friends new and old descended to
offer congratulations, Martin held a stoic
look on her face. Barely a hint of a smile.
Hugs, high-fives, handshakes and more
were offered and accepted as everyone
(including me) waited for their turn to
speak with the new champ. It wasn't
until Nanook, the University of Alaska
at Fairbanks' mascot, appeared that she
let a smile break through.
"It's been a long and great season.
I kept positive, stayed strong, and just
believed. Good thing dad was there
to push. *
SHOOTINGSPORTSUSA.COM | MAY 2015
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shooting Sports USA - May 2015
In This Issue
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - Cover1
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - Cover2
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 3
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 4
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 5
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - In This Issue
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 7
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 8
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 9
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 10
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 11
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 12
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Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 14
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Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 16
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 17
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 18
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 19
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 20
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 21
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 22
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 23
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 24
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 25
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 26
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 27
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 28
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 29
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 30
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 31
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Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 38
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 39
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 40
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 41
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - 42
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - Cover3
Shooting Sports USA - May 2015 - Cover4