By Lars Dalseide | October 20 2013 12:06

Fister turns rifle prowess into NRA Championships and College Scholarship

Amy Fister settles in to shoot during NRA's National Smallbore 3-P Rifle Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio

Port Clinton, Ohio - Finding the X ring while taking part in NRA's National Rifle and Pistol Championships can be challenging enough. Finding it from three positions during the smallbore rifle phase of the championships can be even more trying. But Amy Fister, winner of this year's NRA 3-Position Rifle High Woman title, found it with no trouble at all. A surprising result given her wry self description.

"I'm a nerd," she said with a laugh. "I'm very dedicated to my studies."

Based out of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Fister walked away from the 3-Position Awards Ceremony with four prominent achievements; a member of the Drew Cup team, High Woman with Metallic Sights, High Civilian with Metallic Sights, and High Woman overall. With a score of 2374 - 140x (good for 7th overall), you could say it all came together.

"Last year I was close but not close enough," said Fister. "I guess this year it was my time."

Seeing her on stage, winning award after award, it's difficult to believe that it almost never happen.

About halfway through the match, Fister was out in the field with the rest of shooters setting up targets. That's when she realized something was wrong. That her accomplishments to that point could be all for not.

"I was delusional, seeing things," Fister explained. "After setting up my target, it wasn't there. I started chasing down the target guy for another one. It was an interesting and a little big scary of an experience."

She was dehydrated. Heartbeat rapid, extremely lethargic, unsteady on her feet — she recognized the signs and started back for the line. Pulling a bottle of Gatorade out of her bag, she gulped until it emptied. Feeling a touch steadier, she made for the water coolers behind the line. A few cups later and she was ready to proceed.

"Luckily it happened during prone," she said with a laugh. "Standing would have been a different story."

How a nerd transformed herself into a world class rifle shooter

Starting as far back as she can remember, Fister was out shooting with her dad. First as the official gear porter, she soon moved on to the initially desired post — hunter.

"Deer and goose, that's what we went for," she said. "I go out deer hunting whenever I can, but it cuts into my shooting time. You've got to find a happy medium."

Amy Fister stands next to the Camp Trophy for High Woman at the NRA Smallbore 3-Position Awards Ceremony Though it was dad who first put a rifle in her hand, it was her sister Valerie who started her down the competitive trail. Like most stories of sibling rivalry, big sister joined teh rifle team so little sister wanted to too. A little practice, a little patience, and it all came together.

Came together so well that she earned a shooting scholarship to the University of Memphis (See Amy Fister's Memphis Tiger profile here). But her ambitions don't stop there. The reach as far as Rio de Janeiro.

"I missed a spot on the U.S. Team by two points. Now the goal is to be part of the Olympic Rifle Team in 2016. Problem is that I don't want my scores to drop and I don't want my grades to drop.

"My goal is to become a pediatrician and an Olympian. Guess I'll just find a way."

For more on NRA's Competitive Shooting Programs, visit their website at


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