This young lady is making competitive-shooting history.
Sunday the 28th of June brought a new record to USA Shooting’s National Championships as eighth-grade pistol shooter Carson Saabye earned a bronze medal in Women’s Air Pistol, thus becoming the youngest National Team member in the history of USA Shooting. Saabye earned two of the medals handed out in Air Pistol. Along with her bronze medal, she was the runner-up to Lydia Paterson in the junior event. She’ll compete later this week in the Sport Pistol event.
Amazingly, Carson is just three years into the sport. She’s a straight-A student, a member of the National Junior Honor Society, and shooting isn’t the only sport she’s good at: She’s also the starting shortstop for her softball team, Team Colorado Rawlings, which recently won the Triple Crown state championship and qualified to play at Nationals later this summer in Park City, Utah.
Carson’s part of an rising group of junior competitors training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs as part of the National Training Center Junior Shooting Club program. Her teammate, 14-year-old Will Shaner, broke a J3 (14 years and younger) national record in Men’s Prone Rifle on his way to a silver medal finish in the junior division and earning National Junior Team status with USA Shooting. He was the high J3 finisher in Three-Position Rifle earlier this week.
“Carson continues to amaze us all with her accomplishments,” said Jim Shaver, one of the club’s founders. “I see no end to her string of successes. Off the firing line, she is an easy-going, ain’t no big deal kind of kid. But focusing and shooting 10s makes her a very big deal on the firing line. Her secret may be that she is an elite junior softball player also, so she practices focusing more than many shooters – bat on ball, or pellet to the 10-ring.”
Given the longevity of the athletes in this sport and the payoffs that come with experience, shooting is a sport hard to break through the clutter and ranks early in your career. Never before has anyone ever broken through as soon as Saabye. Five-time Olympic medalist Kim Rhode was a National Team member at age 14. Saabye’s podium partner today, Paterson, was a National Team member at age 16.