— By BRIAN SMITH
Four years of hard work and dedication have paid off for Minden (Mindy) Miles who signed a national letter of intent on Thursday to compete in sharpshooting for Texas Christian University this fall.
Miles, the daughter of Darla and Chip Miles, said she took up rifle at the insistence of her dad four years ago and is glad she did, competing on the Parker County 4-H rifle team. Some of the highlights of her career to date include qualifying for the national Junior Rifle Team and competing in the Junior Olympics.
“My dad took me to 4-H and thought I would like it,” Miles said in a prior interview. “He used to compete when he was in college. Once I got a gun, I got hooked and wanted to shoot more 10’s. It was just a lot of fun so I stayed with it.”
There are two forms of rifle competition. Air rifle, which is shooting from a standing position and her favorite, .22 competition, from which 20 shots at a target are fired from the kneeling, prone, and standing positions.
Miles said at the college level there are normally five people on a team, with squad competition against other universities. The collegiate rifle season runs concurrent with the basketball season — November through March.
Staying close to home was important for Miles, as she turned down offers from Ole Miss, Nebraska, West Virginia and Kentucky. She is considering a business major.
She has been practicing her wares at Lone Star Guns, Gallery and Gear since she started and wanted to thank them for all their support over the years. Miles also has goals of qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.