Story by Sarah Combs, Staff writer
Ivan Roe is a sophomore aquatic biology major from Manhattan, Montana, who enjoys fishing, reading and leading his peers both on and off the rifle range.
Roe didn’t begin his journey in rifle until his senior year of high school. He’s been shooting for 13 years. The journey started for Roe when his dad picked up a flier and signed him up for a pellet gun safety and shooting program at their local gun shop. He said he instantly fell in love, and the love has continued to grow through the years.
Murray State Director of Athletics Allen Ward said Roe’s contribution and performance has been a “huge” PR boost for the rifle and athletic program as a whole.
“People hear about Murray State, and it helps us tell our story,” Ward said. “He’s just been the epitome of the kind of student-athlete that we want here. He’s first class all the way.”
Not only is Roe a top athletic competitor, he emphasizes the student portion of the student-athlete. Last season, Roe was named OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association (CRCA) Scholastic All-American.
Being a student-athlete is similar to a full-time job, but that doesn’t phase Roe.
“As committed as he is on the rifle range, he is in the classroom,” Ward said. “He just takes care of his business.”
Roe is a natural leader for the team with a dedicated and humble outlook on his contribution to the sport. Roe says his role on the team isn’t about shooting good scores because his teammates provide those results just as well if not better. Rather, his role is reflecting his leadership skills through his attitude and dedication.
“I think I come in every morning for practice and I give it 110 percent,” Roe said. “I think they [my teammates] see that and replicate the same work ethic.”
The Olympic prospect likes to keep things steady on the range but also might have a trick up his sleeve regarding his performance.
The key to success might be in Roe’s choice of socks. Roe says he has special socks and shoelaces that are two different colors and sizes.
“They match my shoelaces,” Roe said. “They’re my lucky socks and people hate them. It makes it awesome.”
Success doesn’t come without sacrifice, however. Roe’s typical day starts with morning practice, followed by school, studying, being nutritionally-sound and trying to find social time between it all.
“I would wake up, go to school and then go to practice from 4 to 10 at night, do homework and then go to bed,” Roe said, referring to his senior year in high school.
As far as personal goals, Roe is working toward his appearance in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. He’s certainly headed in the right direction after this weekend at the OVC Championship, where Roe won Smallbore Athlete of the Year and Co-Air Rifle Athlete of the Year.