Thrasher from Virginia prepares for Junior Year in Highschool with an NRA win
Port Clinton, Ohio - There's a lot that goes into winning a national title at NRA's Rifle & Pistol Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio. There's time, practice, dedication, and discipline. What also helps, when battling the wind, pressure and heat, is a little bit of natural talent.
"I started shooting smallbore rifles last September," said Virginia "Ginny" Thrasher, winner of NRA's High Intermediate Junior with Metallic Sights title. "But I've been shooting for almost two years."
Like I said, a little bit of natural talent. Talent molded by family and friends.
For while there might be a great deal of natural talent in play, Ginny would never had made it to Camp Perry were it not for her grandfather. Looking to spend more time with his grandchildren, he decided to introduce her to one of his great loves — hunting.
"He goes out all the time," Thrasher explained. "Three years ago, when I was 13, he asked me to come along."
Though unsuccessful at first, her time with grandpa was soon rewarded with a pair of does. But that only made her hungry for more. Hungry for more opportunities to shoot. As hunting only allows for a few shots per season, her desire to fire would have to be quenched elsewhere.
"I'm real lucky. I joined my high school air rifle team and found a local club named the ACORNS."
Once home to Olympic silver medalist Michael E. Anti and NCAA rifle champions, the ACORNS are a youth shooting team based in Northern Virginia. Around since the 1950s, they take part in competitions as far away as Georgia, Colorado and New Mexico — competitions that prepared Thrasher for the rigors of Camp Perry.
"We've been through a lot but I've loved every second. It's all about hard work, dedication, you practice five days a week and you see results."
Results that have attracted interest from a number of universities. Colleges in the ACC, SEC and other major conferences are now on her radar with scholarships at the ready.
Travel, championships, and now a possible college scholarship. All because her grandfather took her hunting one day.
"He's definitely getting all the credit," she wrapped up with a smile.
For more on NRA's Competitive Shooting Programs, visit their website at compete.nra.org