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Local Olympic Spotlight: Muncy Valley, PA Native Morgan Craft Enters Rio as No. 1 Ranked Skeet Shooter

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Making her first ever Olympics, Team USA shooter and Muncy Valley, Pennsylvania native Morgan Craft is gearing up to hunt down a gold medal.

Craft, 22, enters the Olympics as the number one ranked woman in the world in skeet shooting. She earned the ranking as well as her Olympic bid after defeating American teammate Caitlin Connor in the final round of the 2015 world championships in Lonato, Italy.

That world championship win ended a breakout season for the young American, after earning a silver and a bronze medal in the competitions leading up to the championships. She won another World Cup event this year in Cyprus, cementing her status as one of the best shotgun skeet shooters in the world. She won the National Championships in 2014, after taking home Junior National Champion honors in 2013.

Being the top ranked woman skeet shooter on the planet, Craft obviously has lofty expectations to take home the gold. However, Olympic teammate and fourth-ranked American Kim Rhode can get in her way. In London, Rhode became the first U.S. Olympian to medal individually in five straight Olympics, dating back to Atlanta in 1996. Rhode is the mark of consistency, and her bevy of experience on the sport’s biggest stages has created storehouses of knowledge for Craft to learn from.

However, Rhode isn’t even the top threat to Craft come Rio. Second ranked Sutiya Jiewchaleommit of Thailand, Cyprus flag-bearer Andri Eleftheriou, and British shooter Amber Hill should all compete for the podium. Craft has a track record of beating each and every one of the other shooters competing, meaning that she is more than capable of bringing home a gold back to Pennsylvania.

Craft began shooting rifles around age seven, because her father and grandfather were both shooting instructors. She started with .22s in her local 4H club, and then switched to shotguns in high school, and began shooting international skeet at age 14. She graduated from shooting powerhouse Lindenwood University in 2015 with a degree in exercise science, and hopes to become a physician’s assistant in cardiology.

 

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Dan is a Staff Writer here at DoubleGSports.com with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
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