Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

If she could practice, she’d be lethal

Catherine Kauffelt

Catherine Kauffelt is a freak of nature.

She shows up at national rifle competitions, often with precious little practice, and shoots very, very well.

Case in point: At the recent National Prone Rifle Championships in Camp Perry, Ohio, Kauffelt — a Charleston native studying at the University of California — shot some pretty sporty scores.

In the Dewar Course Metallic Sight match, she captured runner-up honors with a score of 400 (out of 400 possible) with 35 x-ring shots. She also took High Woman and High Collegiate honors in the match.

She then shot another 400 (with 29 x-ring shots) to win the High Expert Civilian Category in the 100-yard Metallic Sight Match. In the next match — the 50-meter Metallic Sight competition — she shot a 397 with 26 x-rings to take second in the Expert Civilian Category.

Her three-match 1,197 aggregate on the competition’s second day earned her top honors in the Expert Civilian Category, one point ahead of runner-up Ben Haney. Her four-day total was good for a second-place overall finish in the category.

For the third year in a row, Kauffelt was selected to represent the U.S. in the Randle Cup Match, a “postal” match in which elite shooters from several countries shoot in their own countries and compare scores with one another. Kauffelt acquitted herself brilliantly there, too. She posted one of three 400 scores put up by the 10-woman U.S. squad.

Her coach, Bill Shank of the Putnam County Junior Smallbore Club, believes Kauffelt would be even more of a world-beater if she only had time to practice. Her environmental economics/pre-law curriculum leaves precious little time for anything else, though, so she shoots only when she comes home for breaks.