Rifle: Getting to Know Amy Bock

  • By Shannon McNamara
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  • October 28, 2011 06:19 PM
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West Virginia freshman Amy Bock has had a busy month – and she has not even taken one shot for the Mountaineer rifle team!

A member of the Puerto Rico National Team, Bock, a native of East Brunswick, N.J., just returned last week from the 2011 Pan American Games, hosted by Guadalajara, Mexico, where she finished sixth in the women’s 50m rifle 3 position (566, 93.1 finals) and 14th in air rifle (388). A proven and frequent shooter on the international circuit, Bock’s potential with the Mountaineers is limitless.

Expected to compete in her first WVU matches this weekend, as the No. 1-ranked Mountaineers (3-0, 2-0 GARC) play host to Memphis tomorrow, Oct. 29, and No. 9 Murray State on Sunday, at the WVU Rifle Range, Bock took time out of her busy schedule to discuss the excitement that surrounded the Pan Am Games and her expectations for her first season of collegiate shooting.

Shannon McNamara: Can you describe the experience of shooting at the Pan American Games?

Amy Bock: It was an incredibly awesome experience. To be honest, I thought it was just going to be like any other international competition. For the Puerto Rico National Team, we shoot mainly in matches in the Caribbean area, and the matches are typically small. I was expecting this to just be another small match. The Games weren’t like that at all!

SM: Was this one of the bigger stages you have shot on?

AB: Yes. These Games are second only to the Olympics. It was just incredible. There was a huge opening ceremony, similar to the Olympics, and it just blew my mind. There were acrobats, performers and singers. I walked with my team – we walked in as a country.

All of the athletes were there. I met athletes that play field hockey, tennis, basketball, badminton, table tennis – it was crazy! I’ve never seen so many athletes in one venue. It was incredible.

I met other competitors from the other countries, too. I had met many shooters before, but now I know a more broad-range group of athletes.

SM: Did it take you any time to adjust to the large scope of the competition?

AB: I had this mentality that you just shoot. The Games didn’t really get to my head.

SM: Did that mentality affect your scores?

AB: Not really. I was happy with the way I performed. I shot another personal best in air rifle, which was good. I just keep getting better. I was shooting well in practice prior to my air rifle match – I was averaging around 592. I was really happy.

When I went to the match, I was a little a nervous. I didn’t shoot as well, but I was four shots under my practice average, so that made me happy. I qualified for the shoot-off for eighth place, and even though I didn’t win, it was OK. I was happy with my performance.

SM: Are you hoping to build on the experience you gained at these Games?

AB: I can honestly say that I learn something in shooting every single day. It’s a learning experience, especially at the international matches. I’m still a beginner. I’m still trying to work my way in. I know I have a lot of work to do if I want to get to where other shooters are, like Nicco (Campriani) and Petra (Zublasing). They are amazing shooters. I want to get to that point.

I’m still working – I definitely know that I can get better.

SM: How do you transition from the Games and apply what you learned to your matches at WVU?

AB: Every single match, I learn something. When I go to the WVU matches, I’m going to treat them the same way I treat every other match. I will use the competition as practice. If you continue to use each competition as practice, then you will just get better and better. Before you realize it, you aren’t even nervous anymore. I’ve competed so much that I’m not really nervous anymore. You have to learn that quickly. If you have a negative attitude, it will affect your scores.

SM: Are you excited to shoot with the Mountaineers?

AB: Yes! It will be my first time, and we’re at home, so that’s good. I hear we get a lot of food before the match, so I’m excited for that, too! I get excited by the little stuff.

For me, I just enjoy shooting. Shooting is fun. The sport lets me travel and make new friends. Travel, friends and shooting – the basic three things I need.

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