Rifle Team Member Kaleb Gille Heading To The National Junior Olympics
March 20, 2017
Filed under Sports
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Kaleb Gille, junior, is one of five shooters from Illinois that will be at the National Junior Olympics, an event put on by USA Shooting in April. The competition is being held in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Olympic Training Center.
The initial cutoff score for qualifying to be in the Junior Olympics was 575 points. Gille was not one of the shooters that qualified in the initial qualifying round, but he did qualify in the final round. The final cutoff score was 546 points. Gille earned 556 points. The top shooter in each state qualified instantly. Gille is the second-place shooter in Illinois.
Gille said that something cool about competing in the Junior Olympics is that the competitors “are allowed to go anywhere [they] want… instead of having to go on a tour.”
The Junior Olympics is vastly different from any other competition Gille has ever been to. Gille said that the National Junior Olympics will be the largest competition he has ever been to. Also, it is not team-based like most high school level matches.
The Junior Olympics is for competitors age 20 and younger. There will be competitors from all around the country coming to compete in the Junior Olympics as well.
Gille is part of the very active QHS Rifle Team. Once every year, the team goes to Nashville, Tennessee, to a private high school called Montgomeryville Academy. There, they compete in the most significant high school match of them all.
Gille’s team won Sectionals this year and made it into Nationals. The QHS Rifle Team will be competing in Nationals in June in Camp Perry, Ohio. The Team achieved a score of 2277, narrowly making it above the minimum qualification of a score of 2275.
Gille practices three times per week for two hours each session. To help him out, he has Head Coach Jim Holtman and Assistant Coach Ben Trapini. Both coaches work together to correct the competitors’ mistakes and pinpoint the reason for those mistakes happening in the first place.
The goal of practice is to try to “replicate a good day,” according to Gille.
There is more thinking involved in shooting than most people realize, so Holtman uses mental training techniques to help his competitors improve.
Gille said that “a lot of it is all subconscious” and that the shooter starts “working like a machine.”