A few bad shots were all it took to knock junior Kelsey Emme out of contention for the smallbore finals in the NCAA Rifle Championships.
With only the top eight shooters advancing to the individual finals, the mark was already high by the time Emme took her first shot.
After the 14 shooters in relay one exited the Pat Spurgin Rifle Range, the eighth-place individual had a score of 579, and first place was 586.
With a season high of 586, Emme still had a decent chance to rank at the top of the list.
Emme said going into today, she wanted to have a good attitude.
“I really just wanted to do the best I could do, stay positive and motivated, do what I could and not get to nervous,” she said.
In her first 10 shots from the kneeling position, Emme had a few that were off the mark. At a score of 93, she had some ground to make up in order to advance.
She said tough competition was not the cause of the low score, as she can ignore that easily.
“I’m aware of (other competitors), but I can block them out pretty well because I train to do that,” Emme said. “But then sometimes if I need a distraction I kind of look around to take a break and just take it in and get back into my zone.”
Though the rest of her scores were solid, and in cases better than many of her competitors, her aggregate score was not enough to place her in the top eight.
“I had a pretty decent day, but I just had a couple bad shots,” Emme said. “It kind of made my score drop to a little lower than I wanted, but it was about my average all year, so I was OK with that.”
Her aggregate score of 577 left her tied for 15th place, with one group still to shoot.
Without a chance at the smallbore finals, Emme now turns her attention to the air rifle championships tomorrow. She said she isn’t doing anything special to prepare.
“I keep my confidence up and tell myself I can do it, little things like that,” Emme said. “Other than that, just relax and be ready.”
Emme will compete Saturday in the CFSB Center. She is scheduled to shoot during the second relay from 10:30-12:15. If she advances to the finals, she will shoot again beginning at 1 p.m.
UPDATE: To read about Emme’s day in air rifle, click here.
Story by Ryan Richardson, Sports Editor