Cassidy (right) Chupa and her dad

Cassidy (right) Chupa and her dad

Chupa firing to success on world stage

Fifteen-year-old long-distance rifle shooter Cassidy Chupa is performing well beyond her years.

Fifteen-year-old long-distance rifle shooter Cassidy Chupa is performing well beyond her years.

The Lake City secondary student recently set a U.S. national record at the Berger Match in Phoenix, AZ., one of the most prestigious rifle shoots in North America. She’s also now the top-ranked Canadian youth and fourth-ranked rifle shooter in the world.

“I dropped 11 points out of 600 at 1,000 yards, got third place overall for the day and broke a U.S. national record,” Chupa said.

At the Berger Match there is no youth class. Chupa was competing against some of the best adult rifle shooters in the world as part of a North American F-class team, and also as an individual.

“I shoot with three other girls and one other boy. Two are from New York, one is from Oklahoma and the other is from Oregon,” she said.

“The first three days we shot as individuals. Then we did a team match, so it went 600 yards, 700 yards, 800 yards, 900 yards and 1,000 yards.”

As part of the youth team Chupa, who has been shooting since she was 11, placed third the first day and fifth the second day. As an individual she finished around the middle of the pack in the adult division.

“At this match the top youth shooter was 19 years old,” she said. “I ended up in second by 10 points.”

To compete at the Berger Match a personal invitation is required, Chupa said. While competing at last year’s world championships in New Mexico Chupa met two of the top female rifle shooters in the U.S. — Nancy Tompkins and her daughter, Michelle Gallagher.

“Michelle is the one who runs the Berger Match,” Chupa said. “And we had the opportunity to train with them at last year’s worlds.”

Chupa also got the opportunity to put her coaching skills to the test at the Berger Match as a wind coach — something not many youths get the opportunity to do in the sport.

“With team shooting the way it works is there are four shooters and they have to listen to the coach,” she said. “The coach is the wind reader, so they sit there with a spotting scope and look down the range to see where the bullet hits, the wind conditions, the mirage conditions, and their job is to tell the shooter where they’re supposed to hold their crosshairs.

“All the shooter has to do is listen to what the coach says, so in the end the coach ends up taking all the credit for the scores, and all the responsibility. It was a lot of fun, and I was the first youth ever to do it at such a big match.”

Coming up Chupa hopes to compete as part of Team Canada at the Western Canadian championships in Chilliwack from June 26-29.

As part of the youth team Chupa, who has been shooting since she was 11, placed third the first day and fifth the second day. As an individual she finished around the middle of the pack in the adult division.

“At this match the top youth shooter was 19 years old,” she said. “I ended up in second by 10 points.”

To compete at the Berger Match a personal invitation is required, Chupa said. While competing at last year’s world championships in New Mexico she met two of the top female rifle shooters in the U.S. — Nancy Tompkins and her daughter, Michelle Gallagher.

“Michelle is the one who runs the Berger Match,” Chupa said. “And we had the opportunity to train with them at last year’s worlds.”

Chupa also had the chance to put her coaching skills to the test at the Berger Match as a wind coach — something not many youths get the opportunity to do in the sport.

“With team shooting the way it works is there are four shooters and they have to listen to the coach,” she said. “The coach is the wind reader, so they sit there with a spotting scope and look down the range to see where the bullet hits, the wind conditions, the mirage conditions, and their job is to tell the shooter where they’re supposed to hold their crosshairs.

“All the shooter has to do is listen to what the coach says, so in the end the coach ends up taking all the credit for the scores, and all the responsibility. It was a lot of fun, and I was the first youth ever to do it at such a big match.”

Coming up Chupa hopes to compete as part of Team Canada at the Western Canadian championships in Chilliwack from June 26-29.