Pelly Crossing’s Danielle Marcotte is entering one of the busiest periods of her life, but she appears to be handling it well.
The 17-year-old, who is balancing an active shooting schedule and her final semester of high school, just returned from competing at the Maple Leaf Open Air Gun Championships in Leduc, Alberta, over the weekend, winning gold in the women’s junior division.
“We flew in on the Friday and I competed on the Saturday and I flew out on Sunday, so it was really fast,” said Marcotte. “Normally I have a couple days to adjust; this time it was go there, shoot and then leave.”
Marcotte took the top prize in her division, shooting the second highest score of all women at the championships, including the senior and expert divisions.
Making her results all the more impressive, Marcotte hit a personal best for shooting two, 40-shot relays in one day, scoring 371/400 and 374/400.
“Normally when I shoot 370 it’s followed by a high 360, so it’s a personal best in that way,” said Marcotte. “It’s funny that my second competition was better than my first one and I was so much more tired. But I shot really well.”
On Sunday, Marcotte went into the finals up by 19 points over the second place competitor, but only gained ground, increasing her lead to 24 to capture gold.
As a sergeant in the Junior Rangers, this weekend Marcotte will attend the second annual Canadian National Junior Ranger Air Rifle Championships, being held this year in Yellowknife. Because she turns 18 this year, the national Junior Rangers shoot will be her last chance for her to win gold in the individual event, taking silver last year. However, Marcotte is not feeling the pressure.
“I can’t wait because this is a really fun shoot,” said Marcotte. “I’ll be missing some school, but we’re not going to be doing any (assignments), so I don’t have to worry about it. I won’t have any worries.
“And I hope to take first this year because it’ll be my last year going.”
Aside from this weekend, Marcotte is staring down the barrel at a busy summer.
There is a chance she will be competing at the first ever Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in August, but is still waiting to hear from the Shooting Federation of Canada as to whether she will receive a wild card to attend the Games.
“We’re still waiting on that wild card from the Shooting Federation of Canada,” said coach and father Darcy Marcotte. “We applied for some wild cards and we’re still here waiting, and we may not hear anything until late May or the beginning of June. I’d like to find out before her graduation so we can make that announcement too.
“There’s a good chance Danielle is going.”
Marcotte missed an opportunity to achieve automatic entry to the Youth Olympics, finishing fourth at the Youth Olympic Games Quota Competition in Guatemala City in March, unable to acclimatize to the hot weather.
“It was horrible. I didn’t think it would be that bad,” said Danielle shortly after. “I was in Brazil a couple years ago and it was really hot there too, but I assumed where I was going to be shooting (in Guatemala) was going to be air conditioned, and I was too wrong about that.
“It was in a stone building, but it was more a stone oven.”
If Marcotte gets the wild card, she will be the only junior woman shooter from Canada going to the Youth Olympics.
If the wild card is not awarded to Marcotte, she will likely use the time to compete at the World Cup Championships in Munich, Germany in August, a quadrennial event she is already registered in. She is also considering competing at the Canadian National Pistol Championships in Quebec at the end of August.
“She’s trying to balance this out with her last year of school; she’s graduating this year, so she a busy, busy girl,” said Darcy.
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