You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Garrett Rabel shoots his way into national spotlight at Olympic Training Center
La Vernia sophomore Garrett Rabel prepares for competition during his time at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Success is subjective and can come in many forms. For La Vernia High School sophomore Garrett Rabel, success has already been enjoyed at the local and state levels, but after a trip to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, he is now enjoying the feel of success on a national stage.
Garrett began his competitive shooting career with .22-caliber rifles as a member of the Wilson County 4-H Rifle Team. He was just 8 years old at the time.
After many years of hard work, Rabel competed in the 2010 Texas 4-H Indoor Rifle Match, where he won High Individual honors and anchored his Wilson County team’s first-place finish. But there is a whole world of competitive shooting out there, and Rabel was far from done.
In early 2011, Rabel’s Texas Junior Olympic Rifle scores exceeded the qualification level necessary for an invitation to the National Junior Olympic Rifle Match in Colorado. While this wasn’t Rabel’s first trip to the Centennial State, it was his first time to receive a “first round” invite in both air rifle and three-position smallbore.
In Colorado, Rabel faced the finest young shooters from around the country. He competed against shooters with years more experience than he had, including several who are members of NCAA college shooting programs.
The first competition at the Junior Olympics event was air rifle. Each shooter was given 60 shots in the standing position at targets roughly the size of a quarter placed 33 feet away. Rabel’s first score was 562 out of a possible 600 points, but against that group of shooters, it was far from the top.
After some soul-searching and the ability to better prepare mentally, Rabel experienced a complete reversal on day two. He made a 17-point jump in his score to 579, and showed the crowd in Colorado Springs that he was a player. He eventually finished 36th, but in a field of more than 100 of the country’s best young marksmen, it was a true accomplishment.
Rabel then moved on to the three-position smallbore matches. In this challenge, each shooter takes 40 shots in each of the three positions -- prone, standing, and kneeling. The entire target is just about the size of a softball, and the “10-ring” is no bigger than a pencil eraser. Move the target out to 165 feet, and the challenge is anything but easy.
At the end of the first day, Rabel found himself in seventh place with a score of 1,148 out of a possible 1,200. He went on to shoot a comparable score of 1,146 on the second day, and found himself in a tie with two other competitors for eighth place.
In order to break the tie, a 5-shot “shoot off” was conducted. Like the regular match, the “shoot off” and finals use the electronic scoring system at the Olympic Training Center. For the shoot off, though, the scores for each shot were counted to the tenth of a point. After the last shot was sent downrange, Rabel had just missed the cut.
While Rabel finished in 10th place overall, everything was still to be put into perspective. Although he was 10th in the competition, he was first among shooters in the 17 and under category. As such, Rabel was called to the top podium to receive his gold medal.
The good news kept coming for Rabel, as his medal was awarded by none other than Lones Wigger -- a multiple Olympic medalist and holder of the most international shooting medals in history. Wigger even remarked to Rabel about the youngster’s impressive shot total and performance.
Yes, success is subjective, but most would certainly argue that Rabel’s showing in Colorado was a success. And if the past is any indication, there is more success headed in his direction.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Basketball Scores (November 25, 2015)
Falls City wins area championship (November 25, 2015)
Hornets receive all-district honors (November 25, 2015)
Jaguars host 40th annual tournament (November 25, 2015)
Julie Kosub signs with UIW (November 25, 2015)
Justus Parker named all-conference (November 25, 2015)
La Vernia Bears eliminated in area football playoff (November 25, 2015)
Bears destroy Hawks, 70-7 (November 18, 2015)
Beaverettes outlast Lady Mustangs in season opener (November 18, 2015)
Beavers advance with win over Burton (November 18, 2015)
Brahmas drop playoff game (November 18, 2015)
Hornets’ playoff run ends to Stevens (November 18, 2015)
Jaguars start with two wins in pre-district games (November 18, 2015)
Lady Bears eliminated in regional quarterfinals (November 18, 2015)
Pirates fall in bi-district playoff (November 18, 2015)
Pirettes eliminated in Region IV final (November 18, 2015)
Varsity Basketball Scores (November 18, 2015)
East Central falls to O’Connor in bi-district playoff (November 11, 2015)
East Central Hornets dominate South San Bobcats (November 11, 2015)
Katie Foster leads Pirates of Southwestern University (November 11, 2015)
La Vernia runs strong at state (November 11, 2015)
La Vernia trounces Robstown to close out district (November 11, 2015)
Lady Bears knock off state-ranked team in area playoff (November 11, 2015)
Lady Brahmas win bi-district, eliminated in area play (November 11, 2015)
Pirettes win pair of playoffs, advance to regionals (November 11, 2015)
Poth tops Karnes City to close out regular season (November 11, 2015)
River City Wrestling hosts fan night at Retama Park (November 11, 2015)
Stockdale Brahmas blank Nixon-Smiley in district finale (November 11, 2015)
Akin leads Brahmas, qualifies for state (November 4, 2015)
Bears pound Eagles for 50-point win (November 4, 2015)
Beavers make perfect run through regular season (November 4, 2015)
Brahmas down Badgers to move ahead in district (November 4, 2015)
FHS Jaguars miss volleyball playoffs (November 4, 2015)
Floresville Middle School tops San Marcos tennis teams (November 4, 2015)
Hornets lose second-half shootout in Corpus Christi (November 4, 2015)
Jaguar basketball gets going (November 4, 2015)
La Vernia runners advance to state (November 4, 2015)
Matthew Montgomery competes in international weightlifting (November 4, 2015)
Mustangs stampede Natalia (November 4, 2015)
Pirettes top Lady Brahmas in playoff (November 4, 2015)
Poth gets shut out in Blanco (November 4, 2015)
Tigers end season with loss to Alamo Heights Mules (November 4, 2015)
Varsity volleyball scores (November 4, 2015)