Sophomore Rio Ferguson is competing in the National Junior Olympic precision marksmanship competition in Colorado Springs from April 7 to April 13.
What is the precision marksmanship event?
“There are multiple kinds of marksmanship, with pistols, rifles and all of that, and the kind that I do is with rifles…Targets can be anywhere from 25 meters to 50 meters for the small board [target] and 10 meters for air rifle. There is a black target, changing in size depending how far away you are that you shoot from those distances.”
How do you qualify for this event?
“There are two ways of qualifying: you can either win the state championships or you can get a qualifying score [at a junior olympics qualification match]. I got in through both the state championship and qualifying score.”
What have you done to prepare for this event?
“I have practice every night of the week, shoot matches once a weekend, [and] practice for about one hour to one hour and a half.”
What are the most exciting things about these kind of events?
“Going out and travelling to new places. The shooting community is very tight knit, so we still know each other even if we are from different states. It gives me a chance to get together with old friends.”
What are your fears going into the competitions?
“I don’t have many fears, but if I had to think of one it would be to have all of this hype around me and then not perform as well as I think I should…It’s all about having fun.”