Ginny Thrasher, a 5’1” freshman from Springfield, Virginia swept the smallbore and air rifle individual titles at last weekend’s NCAA Rifle Championships held in Akron, Ohio. After taking the individual titles in both disciplines, she becomes only the third shooter in history to accomplish the feat, all while helping her team earn the 18Th national championship for WVU.
While some shooters are raised on the range, this sharpshooter was bred deep in the woods, where she speaks fondly of learning to shoot with her grandfather while deer hunting.
“My grandpa took me deer hunting and I got a deer my first year, I was in 8th grade,” she told WV MetroNews. “I thought, I like deer hunting so maybe I should try out for my high school rifle team next year. I did and it was love at first site.”
Despite only being a freshman, her coach proudly notes her extreme commitment and determination, not unlike many others he has seen in his career.
“She obviously has a really good ability,” said Coach Jon Hammond. “But what kind of separated her this year was her ability to listen to everything given to her. She’s very coachable and she really took on board all the information and has the work ethic and drive to put the practice in and put that into production.”
It all comes back to family, says Thrasher, reminiscing on cherished moments spent with family members both in the woods and at the range.
“Shooting is a family thing for us,” she said. “My grandpa has taken me hunting several times. My dad was in the Air Force and likes to go shooting. Both of my brothers are very good shots. All of my family is very supportive of my shooting career and they’ve had a great influence on me.”
While her demanding schedule did keep her from the deer woods this past fall, now that she has found herself in the mountains of West Virginia, she is on the lookout for somewhere new to hunt this fall.