Ansbach senior has success in cross hairs
January 19, 2011
Correction: The original article misspelled Kiley Schreurs' first name.ANSBACH, Germany — Ansbach senior Kiley Schreurs is just 18 years old, but she just might know how Bob Beamon felt some 42 years ago in Mexico City.
Beamon, you’ll recall, was the unheralded long jumper who stunned the world by clearing 29 feet, 2½ inches at the 1968 Olympics. Prior to that, no one had ever come close to jumping more than 28 feet, much less 29.
Schreurs’ Mexico City moment came Saturday on the rifle range at Bamberg. In three meets since returning to the Cougars’ rifle team after a one-year hiatus, Schreurs had averaged just over 277 out of a possible 300 points shooting from 10 meters at the tiny targets on which European high school marksmen train their precision air rifles.
Saturday, she fired a 290 — just two points shy of the DODDS-Europe record of 292 compiled by Brenna Goodman of Würzburg in 2007. The score included a perfect 100 in the prone position — a pellet into each of the 10 pencil-eraser-sized bull’s-eyes on the target sheet.
Like Beamon, Schreurs, whose closest previous approach to perfection had been 95s in individual events on different days, was surprised by Saturday’s score.
“I was just hoping to get 280,” Schreurs said by telephone Tuesday. “I was completely surprised. I had a really good day.”
Schreurs, however, didn’t know how good her day would be until her scores were totaled. While she was shooting, she said, she feared the worst.
“I didn’t think I was doing particularly well,” she said. “I looked back and saw all the coaches walking around and frantically looking through their scopes.”
What the coaches saw through their scopes was a score 12 points higher than her previous best.
“It’s possible to have a spike like that,” longtime Hohenfels coach Bruce Andrews wrote in a Tuesday e-mail of Schreurs’ jump into the elite class of shooters. “She’s been shooting well lately.”
“Lately” is the operative word, too. Schreurs, despite being the daughter of a shooter, said she’s relatively new to the sport.
“This is my second year of shooting,” she said. “When I was a sophomore, a friend invited me to try out for the team because she thought I’d be good. I didn’t shoot last year because I was taking a sports training class. I was the trainer for the girls basketball team.”
Schreurs, who’s presently waiting for word from the U.S. Military Academy about her application for admission, returned to the range this year a different person from the one who shot there as a sophomore. She said the change helped her compile that 290.
“A lot of it is focus,” she said, “but shooting also involves breathing, coordination and physical fitness. I’m in top physical condition because I’m preparing for the Academy.”
Before college, however, there’s the small matter of the European championships Jan. 28 in Baumholder, where 280-plus scorers such as Katelyn Bronell of Heidelberg and the Patch trio of Addison Flynn, Mercedes Romih and Josh Sloan - who lifted the Panthers to a 1,408 out of 1,500 team score last week - will be thick on the ground.
Summarized Patch coach Jack Wayne, “She will be extremely challenged at Europeans.”
Schreurs already knows that. But that 290 and her inner drive figure to provide some momentum to take on that challenge.
The 290 “opened my eyes to what’s possible,” Schreurs said. “I’m excited about Europeans. I just hope I can keep it up.”