Junior Melanie Bowman described as a natural at marksmanship events
BLOOMFIELD — Melanie Bowman has found her calling as a precision shooter while competing in marksmanship events.
The Bloomfield High School junior, who started competing her freshman year, made her debut as a precision shooter last month at the 2017 Four Corners Invitational at Piedra Vista High School, recording a combined 95 percent accuracy both in prone and kneeling positions and 89.50 percent shooting from a standing position.
Bowman placed 11th out of 33 that weekend, and now she looks to build on that performance competing at the state level Friday at Albuquerque's West Mesa High School.
"I was working on my natural point of aim," Bowman said.
Bowman's peers quickly noticed her ability to hit the target with great accuracy and her potential as a precision shooter.
"I always knew she was a natural from the very first match. Very first time I saw her shoot, she got right into a good standing position," said BHS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Sgt. Jeff Rabuck, Bowman's instructor. "She beat some shooters (at the Four Corners Invitational) that have been shooting for over three years. She does have the talent, and she's willing to practice."
As of late, Bowman said she's working more on her breathing during tense moments. To do that, she focuses on a special mental image to maintain her calm.
"I always take my mind to that place, which is the beach," Bowman said, adding she's improved to shooting at least 90 percent accuracy while standing because of it.
Bowman, who shoots right handed, also said she's working on keeping her right shoulder tucked and keeping her right leg straight to improve her form.
"When I keep my shoulder down, it helps me balance my weapon more," Bowman said.
Bowman, who is the first precision shooter at Bloomfield High, now expects she will have a good showing in Albuquerque after making those adjustments.
"I've come so far," Bowman said.
Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.