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Steyrlp10
07-29-2010, 8:35 AM
Lady Calgunners, this was in this morning's paper and thought it might be of interest to some of you :)




Vallejo's Gill making national noise for air rifle
By Matt O'Donnell / Times-Herald
Posted: 07/29/2010 01:00:14 AM PDT


Maneva Gill takes aim during the Junior Olympic National Championship Match in Anniston, Ala. Gill won the gold medal in June and grabbed a silver in New Mexico later in the summer. (Courtesy photo) Maneva Gill is mature for her age.

When Gill was just 4 years old, she began pestering her parents about wanting her own rifle.


A year later she had her own air rifle even though she wasn't quite strong enough to operate it. When she was 8 they took her to the Richmond Rod and Gun Club for a safety class and shooting-range practice.


She played softball but fell in love with her new sport where she had more control of the results.


"I liked that individually you're not relying on others," she said.


Gill, 13, who attends Vallejo Charter School, is now considered an excellent marksman, especially for her age. She grabbed the gold medal this year at the Junior Olympic National Championship Match in Anniston, Ala. In June she attended the National Rifle Association Junior National Championship match in Albuquerque, N.M., winning the silver medal in her division.


She admitted the competition in New Mexico was a bit intimidating considering there were 85 shooters all competing at once.


"The one in (Alabama) seemed more casual, even though it wasn't; there were the same amount of competitors," her mother Lori Gill said. "She's getting really good at it. She'd like to be part of a team."


Maneva said the biggest misconception about the sport is safety.


"There's not much danger compared to other sports," she said. "At both ranges I train at, safety is their number one concern."


The Gills said even though everyone is competing against one
another, shooters often compare tips or loan one another ear plugs, if needed.

"The people in the shooting world are really nice and generous," Maneva said. "They really care a lot about the sport."


Her mother added: "Even though others want their kids or their teams to do well, there is just such camaraderie. I heard about that once we got into it. Her coach said, 'That's what you'll find.'"


One of her coaches is David Lee, who runs the club program at University of San Francisco and mentors others at Lake Merced in San Francisco. He has been coaching the sport for more than 30 years and has helped train a number of national- and international-ranked shooters.


Some of the traits most good shooters possess are the desire to get something right, the ability to pay attention to detail and to repeat it on demand, focus and strength of character, Lee pointed out.


"She has a sense of commitment (that) I find rare in most kids today," he wrote via e-mail. "I help run a couple of other junior programs and it's seldom (when) you'll see a kid come in early and stay late."


Maneva usually trains between 6 and 10 hours per week. Every competitor is expected to go through weight training and build up her core stability and upper-body strength.


"She has her workout program, mental training exercises and practice at home," Lee said. "That's a lot of work and focus for someone her age. And when she thinks she's lacking in something, she's out here at the range for a tune-up, or brain-storming session."


Every shooter is expected to be able to shoot laying down, kneeling and standing. Maneva said the laying down or "prone" position is often the easiest.


"That's usually where you can pick up the most points," she said. "Standing and kneeling are harder. When you're standing, you're using your feet for stability. When you're in the prone position, it's just you and the rifle."


The bulk of the 2010 junior rifle season is complete but Maneva plans to attend next year's national competitions. Both are expected to be at the same site in Ohio.


Gill would like to continue to progress. Her coach has actually asked her to not only shoot but tutor new competitors.


"I have two medals for my age group, but I'd like to win an overall medal for all of the age groups," she said.


This may be Maneva's last year in Vallejo. Her family plans to move back to Ferndale, a small town in Humboldt County near the California-Nevada border.


That will make the commute to the Bay Area a little tougher, but the family is committed.


"In my opinion, if Maneva sticks with the sport, will make a name for herself," Lee said.

six10
07-31-2010, 8:07 PM
Wow, good for her! Hope she keeps up with it, despite the move. Great to see a young girl getting such support from her family for this sport. Thanks for posting the article, Steyrlp10. :)

bruceflinch
08-02-2010, 11:13 AM
Maneva shot at our Club in the Winter Airgun league. Very nice young lady & an awesome competitor!

Steyrlp10
08-02-2010, 11:24 AM
Wow, good for her! Hope she keeps up with it, despite the move. Great to see a young girl getting such support from her family for this sport. Thanks for posting the article, Steyrlp10. :)

You're welcome -- glad you found it interesting. International Bullseye is still pretty unknown to most people because most of it isn't considered a "spectator sport" like Action Pistol. However, like I tell people, it's still an Olympic event :)

Steyrlp10
08-02-2010, 11:25 AM
Maneva shot at our Club in the Winter Airgun league. Very nice young lady & an awesome competitor!

It would be nice to follow her career because she's local -- and see her make the next Olympic Shooting Team.