TCU rifle’s Sarah Beard becomes only collegiate athlete on Pan-American Team

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    TCU rifle athlete Sarah Beard spent her summer traveling to Colorado, Italy and Germany. Not only did Beard visit these locations, she competed and trained there.

    Beard garnered a selection on the 2011 Pan-American Team as the only collegiate athlete to earn a coveted spot on the roster. In October, Beard’s accomplishments will allow her to travel to Guadalajara, Mexico, to compete with athletes from the Americas in an event held only once every four years.

    Beard earned her position on the team by winning the women’s open position championships at nationals in Fort Benning, Ga. Rifle coach Karen Monez said Beard beat out almost two dozen other women in small-bore finals for her spot on the team. Her performance at Fort Benning was a personal best, Monez said.

    For Beard, her career in collegiate level rifle has been a series of successes. Beard was part of the 2010 NCAA National Championship Team—the first all-female squad to capture the title—and has earned various accolades in international and national competition.

    Winning a spot on the Pan-American Team was especially rewarding for Beard because of her family’s history with rifles. She took up the sport to follow in the footsteps of her father, who was a member of the 1984 Olympic rifle team.

    Because her next goal after completing the Pan-American Games is becoming a member of the U.S. Olympic team, Beard said winning was an emotional moment for both her and her father.

    “I know he was really happy,” Beard said. “He was crying at nationals when I won.”

    Beard added that it has been nice participating in competitions with her father. She also enjoyed reaching a level where she believes her skills rival those of her father.

    “I don’t think I’m as good as he was yet,” Beard said. “But I always want to improve.”