Spotlight on Taylor Gibson, Junior Precision Air Rifle Competitor

Junior Precision Air Rifle Competitor Taylor Gibson looks to claim the title at the upcoming National Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Three-Position Air Rifle Championship. This year’s event will be the 17-year-old’s third go-round at Nationals, with no titles thus far, and would cap off an already incredible year for her.

Taylor has accomplished a lot for only being involved in competition shooting for a little over four years. Outside of National competition, the North Salem High School (Salem, Oregon) student-athlete won the 2018 Cascade Mountains League March Cup Match Championship after overtaking the event leading up to the championship in November and December of 2017, as well as in January and February of 2018. Additionally, she earned second place in the 2017-2018 American Legion Postals after trailing by only one point.

In 2018 alone (so far), Taylor was the highest scorer overall in the JROTC Postal Competition, she won the Army JROTC Regional Service Championship (where she not only fired the highest Army score, but the highest score of all of the Services), earned the championship title at JROTC Nationals and she was also the overall competitor at CMP 3P Regionals in Sandy, Utah – naturally giving herself the reputation as an intimidating force to other competitors hoping to grab the championship title.

As if that weren’t impressive enough, Taylor also currently holds the Army JROTC Individual 3×20 National Record, the Army JROTC Individual 3×20 Plus Final record, the Army JROTC 20 Shots Kneeling record (set during the 2015 JROTC National Championship and tied again at the 2017 National Championship), the Junior Club Precision Final Score record and the American Legion Precision Final Score record.

Taylor has worked hard for what she has earned, practicing six days a week between her high school JROTC team and her club team. Her family, the Gibsons, knew nothing about the air rifle world until Taylor became involved. She started on a club team at a local gun club before she unexpectedly got involved scholastically.

Her cousin, who is the head cheerleading coach at Taylor’s high school, mentioned Taylor’s noticeable talents to the head rifle coach, 1SG Jim Wagner. Shortly thereafter, she began shooting with the high school team, as an eight grader. Wagner was quickly captivated by Taylor’s skills as well as her sensible personality.

Coach was quick to get her into competition, starting with the JROTC Regional Service Championship in Phoenix. Taylor finished high enough to qualify her for the JROTC National event at CMP’s South Range in Anniston, Ala. Her scores climbed and climbed during the time between Regionals and Anniston, and when it came to perform on the National stage, Taylor excelled under the pressure – finishing just 0.12 of a point outside first place.

Before trying to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Taylor will have her sights set on the CMP 3P Nationals and 3-peating her JROTC Nationals title during her senior year in 2019.

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