Senior rifle team member Sarah Scherer will be competing Friday in Poland in the International Shooting Sport Federation World Cup Final.
Her competition? The eight best female 10m air rifle competitors in the world.
Scherer’s journey began four months ago in May when she took first place in air rifle at an ISSF Rifle and Pistol World Cup Series competition in Korea . Since then, she said she had been excitedly awaiting the opportunity to experience a new culture and learn from her competition at the ISSF World Cup Final.
“I’m really excited because it’s such a small group of athletes and I’m going to be the baby shooter,” she said.
Scherer added that she enjoys being the youngest competitor because she does not have the pressures of someone for whom competing in rifle is a profession.
“I’m a college student. I love this, and that’s why I’m doing this,” she said. “I’m not in it for the money. I’m not in it for the fame. I’m just here to enjoy it.”
Scherer will be traveling to Poland on behalf of the U.S. National Rifle Team, but TCU rifle coach Karen Monez said the experience would benefit Scherer exponentially on the collegiate level as well.
“To shoot well in competition, you have to shoot a lot of competitions,” Monez said. “If you can compete at the Olympic level, you can come back here and compete at the collegiate level,” she added.
World cups differ from NCAA rifle competitions because in world cups, women are only allowed 40 shots in their allotted time. On the NCAA level, all competitors are given 60 shots.
Scherer said that while she receives the same amount of time per shot at both levels, mentally 40 shots is more stressful because of the value of each shot.
“You’re training for both to shoot as many 10s as you can,” she said, “But 60 shots is a little more based on endurance for me and 40 more on intensity, just my two mental attitudes.”
Coach Monez said Scherer had been a member of the national team for several years, with her last two years being the strongest shooting years she has had.
Those strong years allowed Scherer to be in the company of only eighty-six other rifle athletes from thirty-one countries competing this week in Poland.