BELGRADE — Belgrade air rifle shooter Ali Weisz is getting set to compete in 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, but there’s another up-and-coming shooter from the Gallatin Valley. Bozeman High’s Eva Horgan committed to shoot at Ohio State University.
“That was always sort of the goal from the very first time I saw a girl shooting precision," Horgan said. "It was really nice to see that pay off and really nice to know that I get another four years to compete, which is really special.”
“When I was in second grade we got a flier from Gallatin Valley Sharpshooters, which is the club here, and it was about being in a BB gun program and learning about gun safety," Horgan added. "I just joined that and started competing that way and I kind of never stopped.”
It may take many steps just to fire a single shot, but it’s the mental aspect of the sport where Horgan thrives.
“I think it’s definitely my happy place just because the nature of the sport is really mental," said the future Buckeye. "It really gives me a place to relax where I know that everything here is up to me and every move I make has a consequence and it’s a really great way for me to de-stress.”
Horgan has participated in the Junior Olympics twice and was a part of the U.S. Olympic Trials last year. Despite not making the Olympic roster, she hopes competing at Ohio State can bring her shooting to the level of performance she needs.
“I think the biggest thing for me is just to keep consistently working, especially on my mental game, and I’m really hoping to see that improvement in college where I can look to 2024 and maybe say, ‘Alright, this is possibly realistic,'" she said.
She also chose the Buckeyes for their academics. Horgan is planning to major in political science.
“Academics is super important to me and they have such a good reputation all across the board," Horgan said. "I really wanted to go to a big state school in a big city and Ohio State just checked all the boxes.”
With Weisz preparing for the Olympics, Horgan is happy that she can continue Montana’s tradition of sending shooters to compete at high levels.
“I think that it’s great that Montana is represented on an Olympic level and that Montana as a whole, we always send a lot of shooters to the collegiate level and it’s really great just to kind of give that representation to the state, because shooting is such a great sport and we do really well here,” Horgan said.