A few squeezes of the trigger and it’s two in a row for Danielle Marcotte.
Competing against 33 other shooters, junior and senior, at the Grand Prix Air-gun Championships in Toronto, Marcotte shot her way to a gold in the junior division and finished sixth in the women’s category. She took gold in the juniors at last year’s event as well.
Surprisingly, Marcotte feels she can do better.
“My scores weren’t as good as they used to be,” said Marcotte. “I’ve had a hard time shooting lately. When I got there my scores jumped back to where they were. But they weren’t as little bit lower than what I was hoping for Ã‰ but they were alright.”
Marcotte, 16, a sub junior, shot 369/400 on her first day of competition and 370/400 her second day, defeating international juniors Alex Findley who took second and Christine King who took third. Findley and King are both from Ontario.
“The way I was focusing was different and it really worked,” said Marcotte. “Shooting comes naturally to me and I kind of took that for granted in maybe the last five or so months. Maybe I got lazy and forgot how hard shooting was.
“At the competition my focus was so high – I’ve never focused that hard and paid attention to every little thing before.”
Because of her high scores, Marcotte took part in a 10-shot shoot out with the other seven-highest women scorers. With a combined score of 835.6, Marcotte finished three spots behind third-place finisher Avianna Chao, who represented Canada last summer at the Beijing Olympics.
“I think they’re the best matches I’ve ever had, even though my scores weren’t as high,” said Marcotte. “I learned a lot about myself.”
Her success means she has started the season where she left off from last year. Among her accomplishments from last year, Marcotte, a Junior Rangers sergeant, won her second title of Top Shot at the Canadian Junior Ranger Regional Air Rifle Championships held in Yellowknife, making her the only Yukoner to bring the title to the territory. She also won a junior championships title at the Canadian National Pistol Championships in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and then earned the world ranking of 45 after world cup performances in Beijing, China, Munich, Germany and Milan, Italy.
Marcotte is planning to return to Beijing next month for a world cup competition.
“I’m looking forward to it,” she said. “I never get nervous going to competitions, but knowing my scores were lower than what they usually are Ã‰ during the Grand Prix my heart was just going and I was so nervous.
“Now that I’ve found my place, going to China, I think I’m going to do well. I’m really excited about that.”
Also in her sights is a trip to Calgary for the national pistol championships in July. If all goes well, Marcotte could end up representing Canada in Singapore at the Junior World Olympics in 2010.
Contact Tom Patrick at email@example.com