GMC has a long a storied tradition in Rifle with Three NRA ROTC National Championships under their belts, but Alyssa Kiser is firing at new targets for the Bulldogs.
Alyssa will be the first Bulldog to attempt to qualify for the Junior Olympics. Her first qualifying match will be Sunday, January 5 as she will travel to Ole Mill Range Complex in Griffin, GA to compete on the Georgia State Junior Olympic Championship. Alyssa will test her skills against other shooters from across the region. The event will welcome about hundreds of junior shooters in multiple age ranges. Alyssa will shoot in the 18-20 age group and her score from this shoot will be evaluated by a selection committee with scores from across the country, with the top shooters earning a spot on the 2020 USA Junior Olympic Team.
Alyssa first picked up a gun when she was nine years old. She recalls that her dad helped cultivate her love for shooting. "My dad was an expert marksman in the US Navy, and it has always been something we loved to do together." Alyssa started shooting competitively during her freshman year of HS and after concerted effort and focus she grew into the top shooter in her High School, capturing multiple top shooter awards throughout her High School career. Alyssa commented "What I love most about shooting is the peace and quiet I feel right before I shoot, the concentration on my breath and the trigger squeeze there is no other feeling like it for me."
Traveling to shoot is all part of the sport, Alyssa knows all too well. She has travelled all across Georgia, but her most memorable trip was when she led her team to Anniston, Alabama for National Championships. "The energy in that range was unbelievable." When asked about her most memorable achievement in shooting she recounted her win at the JROTC Regional Service Championship. She was on target advancing through the relay stages to the final which featured 10 shooters going shot for shot. "After each shot they read off your score so you know exactly where you are. I was in lead with one to go, the noise behind me was deafening as people were ringing cow bells and milk jugs full of rocks, but I made the shot and my fans went crazy."
Alyssa is ready to take this next step and credits the support and encouragement she receives from home and from her GMC Coach Mary Ellen Eaton for preparing her for this next step in her career. Alysa added, "Coach Eaton guidance over these last six months has a lot to do with me feeling comfortable competing at this level, she really helps by making me feel capable of success."
Coach Mary Ellen Eaton is excited for her young shooter. "Alyssa is calm and determined, she is more than prepared to shoot in this event." She added, "This is a first time for GMC Rifle and we are excited for Alyssa."
Alyssa will rejoin her team next week as they prepare for the NRA Sectionals January 18. The team is also looking ahead to the Georgia State Championship in February and the NRA Intercollegiate Championship in March.