Baconton Charter alum makes Jr. Olympic shooting team
CAMILLA, Ga. (WALB) - Bethany High, the 2019 salutatorian of Baconton Community Charter School and a senior at Emmanuel College, recently made the USA Junior World Selection Olympic Team in target shooting.
The best shooters from across the country competed for a spot on the travel team in Kerrville, Texas. Making the USA Junior World Cup Team sets the stage for a future spot in the Olympics for many athletes in the field. Bethany has her eyes set on the 2024 Olympics to be held in Paris. So far, she has competed here in the USA and in Italy.
Bethany was 15 when she started, but most athletes in this sport have been shooting since they were 8 or 9. After a couple of years shooting 4-H trap, Bethany moved on to the international bunker trap because of the challenge and difficulty, and because it is one of the two shotgun events in the Olympics.
Bethany, 19, credits her beginning shooting experience with Ray Shirah, John Baldwin, Rodney Conine and Anthony High in Mitchell County 4-H for her love of the shooting sport.
She currently trains at her own make-shift mini bunker near Pebble City and in Florida.
The nearest public bunker to Camilla is in Gainesville, Fla., but Bethany attends college in Franklin Springs, near Royston, 240 miles away. The closest bunker to her college is 250 miles away in Tennessee. In order to practice, Bethany spends a great deal of time on the road.
“I believe cross-training by shooting other events, plus training on the bunker when I could really helped me this year,” Bethany said. “During my Christmas break, I traveled to Tucson, Ariz. to train for a week on their bunkers and during my spring break, as soon as I finished shooting the Seminole Cup sporting clay tournament, I went to Gainesville and trained on the bunker the rest of the week. I keep saying I want to go to the beach because I can’t even tell you the last time I have been!”
Bethany currently holds a 3.9 GPA, and will graduate in May 2022. She wants to pursue her Olympic dream but also go to physical therapy school or occupational therapy school. She was the first female from Mitchell County to attend college on a clay target scholarship.
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