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Cookeville High’s Johnson Heading To Jr Olympics

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville High’s Johnson Heading To Jr Olympics

Cookeville High School senior Mallory Johnson is heading to the Junior Olympics after winning the Rifle Shooting State Championship.

Johnson said her personal best 592 out of 600 score at the State Championships qualifies her to travel to Colorado Springs and compete with the nation’s best. She said a state title was always the goal but the excitement about competing in the Olympics is too thrilling to put into words. She said trying something new and giving your best effort can open up endless opportunities.

“I never expected to go this far in my sport,” Johnson said. “I didn’t even know it existed when I was little and now I’m going to college for it and I never even would have chosen that college if it wasn’t for rifle, and I’m very blessed.”

Johnson signed her letter of intent to attend Murray State University in the fall. She said a qualifying score at the Junior Olympics in April will earn her a spot on the World Championship team set to compete for a gold medal in Lima, Peru this fall. Mallory’s mother Danielle Johnson said she has enjoyed watching Mallory’s development since she began shooting.

“It’s been really cool to watch her not only grow in the sport, but grow mentally,” Johnson said. “And that’s a big aspect of shooting sports. So it’s been really cool, not only to see her reach those goals, but to challenge herself to be better than what she thought she could be.”

Johnson said her score of 580 indicates that out of 60 shots, she scored a perfect 10 on 52 of them and a nine on the remaining eight shots. She said she started shooting with bb guns, moved through the air rifle ranks, and has now even added a .22 caliber to her repertoire. Her mother said the biggest challenge still remains.

“It’s definitely going to be a different experience shooting shoulder-to-shoulder with the top shooters in the country,” Johnson said. “Junior Olympics is u21, so it’s 21 and under. So, you know, as a 17-year-old going up against 21-year-olds, she definitely is holding her own in those areas and we’re really excited to see what she does standing up against them.”

Johnson said her friends have shown pride and excitement for her, so having a community around her who realize the magnitude of her accomplishment and believe that she can achieve even more has made the experience even sweeter.


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