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Tracy Frank, Published April 05 2014

HerVoice: Amenia, N.D., native earns riflery accolades

Her Voice is a weekly article about women in or from our area and how they make an impact on the world around them. If you know someone SheSays should feature in HerVoice, email Tracy Frank at tfrank@forumcomm.com.

AMENIA, N.D. – At just 19 years old, Dacotah Faught is among the top collegiate-level shots in the country.

The Amenia native is a freshman and member of the rifle team at Tennessee Martin University, and she recently took eighth place in the National Collegiate Athletic Association National Rifle Championship.

Encouraged, she says, by her mom, Faught started shooting BB guns when she was age 8, air rifles when she was age 10, and smallbore when she was age 12.

She also participated in Buffalo Sharpshooters, a program for children ages 8 through 15 to teach the basic skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for safe and proper gun use, according to their website.

Faught now competes in air rifle and smallbore.

“I just had a passion for the sport,” she said. “I like the idea that you can always fix something. You can always do better. There also are these little adjustments you can improve on. That’s where the mental game comes into the sport.”

Faught fired the second-highest score out of all 46 shooters in the first relay of the NCAA championship, compiling 595 out of a possible 600 points, according to a news release. She also was one of the youngest competitors to make the finals and, she says, was up against Olympians.

“In the finals, they include decimal scoring,” she said. “It gets very close. Things can change in just one shot.”

Faught, a chemistry major and criminal justice minor, says it was an interesting experience. While she’d hoped for first place, she says she learned a lot from that match, especially about how to calm her nerves.

She was chosen to participate in the NCAA Rifle Championships, held at Murray State University in Kentucky on March 14 and 15, based on scores submitted from the NCAA qualifier on Feb. 22. The NCAA selected Faught to participate in the event as one of eight at-large shooters from across the nation, a news release stated.

She set a new Martin school record with a 597-point air rifle performance in the qualifier, capping off a season where she averaged 585.2 points per competition.

At the Ohio Valley Conference championships in February, Faught became the fourth Martin shooter to win OVC Freshman of the Year accolades. She also earned All-OVC Smallbore First Team, All-Newcomer Smallbore, All-OVC Air Rifle Second team and All-Newcomer Air Rifle Honors in her debut season, a news release stated.

Faught has gone deer hunting and duck hunting, but says she doesn’t hunt often and mostly sticks to target shooting.

In 2011, she was the Class A Air Rifle National Champion and, in 2013, she took second place in the Three-Position Smallbore Class A category.

She graduated in May from Central Cass High School in Casselton, N.D.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526