The story of a sharpshooter

Sophomore+Julia+Ivey+poses+for+a+professional+photographer+at+the+Olympic+Training+Center+in+Colorado+Springs%2C+Colorado.+

Provided by Julia Ivey

Sophomore Julia Ivey poses for a professional photographer at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lilli Eppinga , Journalism Student

Since she was eight years old, Julia Ivey has competed in various types of competitive shooting, an uncommon sport that is rapidly growing in popularity.

It first started when Scott Ivey, heard the opportunity from a co-worker. Ivey competes on the Dakota Sharpshooters team, which is the only South Dakota precision team located in the state. Many people travel from all over the state to participate in such a high ranked team. For Ivey, traveling to practice is a commute of an hour and a half to the main location of Armour, South Dakota.

Ivey’s love for the sport grew over the years. She had a drive for the competitiveness of the sport and constantly learning how to improve her skill level.

“After I got involved in it, then I was inspired by the other people I was competing against because I wanted to get better so that I could do better. My competitors push me,” said Ivey.

Dakota Sharpshooters compete all around the country, driving long hours to different states every weekend. Traveling allows Ivey to gain experiences and skills from meeting new competitors. She also receives opportunities that many other sports do not offer.

“One of the biggest opportunities is getting to go to the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs. It’s just a really cool experience, and you actually get to compete against Olympians,” said Ivey.

Provided by Julia Ivey
Ivey at a match at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado in Feb. 2018.

Ivey’s equipment load consists of a gun, sights and clothing to wear. During matches she wears a spandex shirt and leggings, over that is a jacket for cooling her down. Ivey also wears a second jacket made of leather and leather pants to limit her body’s movement for stability. Her practice schedule is lengthy but exciting. Since her hometown is located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, road trips for the Ivey family are a weekly deal.

“Practices are usually an all day thing. We do drills and we shoot at targets, and our coaches come to talk to us and help us. They tell us ways we can improve, and what is needed to be done,” said Ivey.

Ivey is a tenth grader at LHS, and shooting often causes interferences with her school and social life. Although it can be tough, her love for the sport persists and shooting is what she cherishes.

“As much as shooting can get in the way of the rest of my life, I wouldn’t change it for the world,” said Ivey.