With spots in a prestigious competition on the line, two Wofford College student-athletes took their best shot.
Ansely-Brooke Springer ’25 and Garett Dall ’26 competed in the U.S. Junior Olympics shooting competitions in Colorado Springs, Colorado, as the first Terriers to compete on that stage.
Springer, who shot air rifle, and Dall, who shot smallbore, were among 314 student-athletes receiving an invitation for the competition, which is for the top shooters under the age of 21. Springer competed April 13 and Dall shot on April 17. The competition concluded April 18.
“Being here in Colorado Springs, where Olympians train, is such a surreal feeling,” says Springer, a biology major from Leesville, South Carolina. “With the help of my coach and team, I worked hard to get here, and I can feel that hard work paying off.”
Springer and Dall say the Wofford rifle team’s commitment to additional practice time helped them hone their skills, including returning to campus a week early during winter break to practice.
“I think we competed so well this year for two reasons,” says Dall, an undeclared major from Easton, Kansas. “We were very motivated to get better, so we put in the work and trained hard. We also had an exceptional coach that could direct us on the right path and train us to do our best.”
Coach Seth Flanagan ’18 says the level of competition and qualifying scores for the Junior Olympics were the highest that he could remember.
“I have watched these two grow tremendously since August,” Flanagan says. “The drive, determination and grit they possess is something I cannot teach. I could not ask for better student-athletes. As the year has gone on, their confidence has grown. They often make self-corrections before I ever have to say anything.”
Springer says additional focus was placed on mental conditioning for competitions.
“I think one of the reasons I have competed so well leading up to the Junior Olympics is knowing where to focus mentally,” Springer says. “I went into the qualifiers knowing that all I had to give was my best and the competitors around me really had no effect on whether I would qualify or not. It all depended on me.”
Dall traveled to Colorado on April 14.
Before the match Dall said, “There is a lot going through my mind, but I’m mainly trying to focus on my training and the fact that I am prepared to compete in this match. I am staying focused on my shot process.” His father traveled from Kansas to watch him compete along with family friends living in Colorado.
Springer is appreciative of the support that she received.
“Aside from coach, I have my parents and two little siblings with me, and I could not be happier,” Springer says. “My family took the week off and drove me out here, which is no small task for five people and a 23-hour road trip. Although we are missing my older brother for this competition, my family has been a continuous support system for me and always pushes me to do my best.”
Dan Wesson ’22 was the first Wofford rifle team member to qualify for the Junior Olympics, but he was unable to compete due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Junior Olympics are one of the biggest stages for the shooting sports,” Flanagan says. “This is the only time that the best youth shooters in the country will be together. It provides a great recruiting opportunity, along with exposure for our program.”