Update: We’ve recently found out from Damian Allen, NRA Air Gun Coordinator, that the wrong photo was used in the article we cited.

This is Annabelle Stanec.

Damian Allen, NRA Air Gun Coordinator, Annabelle Stanec, Precision Winner, and Major Bill Barker.

The photo that was should at the link was of Brendaya Grigsby, who shot a very impressive 97 in the final.

(unknown), Brendaya Grigsby, Major Bill Barker.

Now, back to the original story…

* * *

I have the sneaking suspicion that Ms. Annabelle Stanec is going to be a sport-shooting superstar one day:

“What I’m doing now is I’m doing a double follow-through and placement,” said 14-year-old Annabelle Stanec, who won the NRA 3-Position Air Gun Championship at West Mesa High School in Alburquerque, New Mexico on May 24. “I look off into space, then I relax and see where I really am lined up to the bull.”

There were other factors contributing to Stanec’s victory besides natural point of aim, but that particular attention to detail might have been the key that ultimately put her in first place in the premier air-rifle competition that invited the top 100 NRA qualifiers to the shooting showdown in the Land of Enchantment. The 5-foot-6 rising prep sophomore fired a total, including a final round 102.2 in the standing position, of 1,340.4 points.

“I’m hoping to get a college scholarship for rifle,” said Stanec, who represented the Ashland (Ohio) Eagles Rifle Team and attends Highland High School of Medina, Ohio. “And I’d like to win the National Junior Olympics.”

Stanec paced an Eagles squad that also took the precision team title with a two-day total of 4,885.5 points. Her champion teammates included Josh Kovach, Christina Holden and Antonio Remedios.

Stanec has a long way to go before the National Junior Olympics of course, but it’s inspiring to see young shooters like her and her teammates showing such enthusiasm for the sport.

I recently spoke with a field rep for a major firearms brand as he was putting together a speech he was giving to a group of high school shooters and their parents. He spoke in front of over 800 people.

As we’ve hammered on repeatedly, the fastest growing segments of the shooting sports market are young, urban, and female.

Youth shooting is exploding in popularity across the country, and shooting sports are the fastest growing high school sports in many parts of the nation. Parents are coming to realize that when their kids get involved in shooting sports their concentration increases and they develop better discipline. Developing their concentration and discipline often leads to more academic success, and happier kids.

Folks, these are the kind of stories we should be sharing. Our youth are embracing the shooting sports and are becoming better people and better citizens because of their involvement. Because of their positive experiences, many previously neutral-to-anti-gun parents are now enthusiastic supporters of sport shooting.

If you have an opportunity to support your local sports shooting programs, please do.

They are our future, and a key reason to believe we’ll have great support of the Second Amendment for years to come.