Lakeville trapshooter sets sights on the future

  • Updated: January 5, 2013 - 6:52 PM

After just missing the 2012 Olympics, Lakeville trapshooter Kelsey Zauhar faces a big decision.

hide

Kelsey Zauhar, 27, is a USA Shooting member, narrowly missing a spot on the recent Olympic team. (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(mlevison@startribune.com

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Shotguns have been part of Kelsey Zauhar's life since she was a young teen-ager, and she shoots them almost better than anyone. It's the almost part that bugs her.

A world-class trapshooter, Kelsey, of Lakeville, has dedicated a fairly large chunk of her 26 years to making the U.S. Olympic team. Her specialty is women's international trap.

The catch is that the U.S. sends only one woman trapshooter to the Summer Games.

Just one.

Every four years.

"I started shooting when I was 13,'' Kelsey said while visiting her parents, Mark and Sharon Zauhar, over the holidays.

She was home from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where she has lived the past four years.

Kelsey's skills with a shotgun were obvious almost from the first time she put one to her shoulder.

"I shot recreationally at first,'' she said. "It was a good way to spend time with Dad. We'd shoot on weekends or when he came home from work.''

It wasn't too long before local shoots became state shoots, which morphed to regional, then national competitions.

Good enough to win a college shooting scholarship, Kelsey headed to campus with a gun in her hand.

"It was about then that I was introduced to international trap, and I really liked it,'' she said. "After only a year of shooting it, I finished fourth in the 2008 Olympic trials.''

Promising, yes.

But a large handful of American women are really good trapshooters. To separate herself from that bunch, Kelsey figured she would have to work harder than the others, and be more dedicated.

Postponing college, her goal was to shoot her way on to the 2012 U.S. Olympic team. Her move to the Olympic Training Center would be a first step.

Thus began four years of day-in, day-out eating, drinking, sleeping -- and thinking -- shooting.

It's the thinking part that's most challenging.

"Shooting is 90 percent mental,'' she said. "Talent is only the beginning to making the Olympic team in any sport. Everyone involved has talent. You have to make it the most important thing in your life. Friends ask you to go skiing? You can't, because you might get hurt and set yourself back.

"Go home for Thanksgiving? That would be nice. But we might have a shoot in Puerto Rico or Texas or Arizona that comes first.''

In Colorado Springs, Kelsey lives in a dorm. She eats in a cafeteria, receives a monthly performance-based stipend and shoots or works out nearly every day.

Her shells and targets are paid for, and she has access to benefits afforded other Olympians and prospective Olympians, including sports psychologists.

"It is about competition and wanting to be your best,'' Kelsey said. "But more than that, you want to be part of something bigger than yourself. It's not just me out there shooting, or another woman. It's more than 100 years of the Olympic movement and everything it entails.

"You have to buy into that. You want to be part of it, and contribute to it.''

• • •

Two competitions determined who would represent women's trapshooting on the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

One was in late fall 2011, the other in May 2012. Each featured 250 targets.

Also there was a 25-round shoot-off.

Four years of training, and 525 rounds would determine who was going to London.

"After the first 250 I was second,'' Kelsey said. "Then, when it was all done, all 525 targets, I finished third. Corey Cogdell, the woman who shot for the U.S. at the 2008 Games, won it.''

What to do?

More shooting?

Less?

Stop altogether?

That's what Kelsey is asking herself.

Still in training in Colorado Springs, she knows she'll be 30 the next time the Olympics roll around. She can shoot really well. But can she be the best?

However uncertain she might be of that, she's uncertain of little else.

"I'm going to finish college and then decide if 2016 is in the cards,'' she said, adding:

"People who do what I do are competitive by nature. Some mornings I wake up and say, 'What if?' But I have to accept that 2012 was a learning experience. It doesn't define me. I have no regrets.

"All I can do is work hard to make sure I don't feel this way again, to make sure whatever goal I set for myself moving forward, whether it's the 2016 Olympics or education or something else, is a goal I achieve.

"It's about turning disappointment into fuel.''

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Denver 28 FINAL
Cincinnati 37
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 82 FINAL
Charlotte 110
Portland 95 FINAL
Houston 110
Utah 97 FINAL
Memphis 91
Toronto 120 FINAL
Chicago 129
Atlanta 105 FINAL
Dallas 102
LA Clippers 118 FINAL
San Antonio 125
Sacramento 74 3rd Qtr 1:12
Golden State 89
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Washington 2
Nashville 5 FINAL
Columbus 1
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(SO)
Florida 4
Arizona 1 3rd Prd 9:32
Vancouver 7
San Jose 2 3rd Prd 8:34
Anaheim 1
Calgary 1 3rd Prd
Los Angeles 3
Ark-Little Rock 64 FINAL
Bradley 54
Brown 67 FINAL
Central Conn St 55
Stetson 59 FINAL
Florida State 63
Ill-Chicago 46 FINAL
Northwestern 63
Ohio 49 FINAL
George Washington 77
Southern Utah 61 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 70
Elon 67 FINAL
Kennesaw St 65
Dartmouth 49 FINAL
Penn State 69
Green Bay 70 FINAL
UC Irvine 72
DePaul 68 FINAL
Colorado 82
Lewis & Clark 49 FINAL
Portland 71
SC State 59 FINAL
Abilene Christian 65
Manhattan 71 FINAL
Fordham 57
Truett-McConnell 57 FINAL
Ga Southern 90
Citadel 56 FINAL
Michigan State 82
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Ohio State 93
Gardner-Webb 89 FINAL
Purdue 84
Idaho 68 FINAL
Northern Ky 81
Fairfield 66 FINAL
Albany 77
North Dakota St 61 FINAL
Alcorn State 50
UT Martin 37 FINAL
Butler 64
SE Louisiana 65 FINAL
UCF 70
Oakland 60 FINAL
Clemson 70
Florida A&M 57 FINAL
East Carolina 75
Eastern Ky 66 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 69
IUPU-Ft Wayne 43 FINAL
Illinois State 68
Norfolk State 74 FINAL
James Madison 71
Binghamton 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 69
Towson 56 FINAL
Navy 61
Long Island 73 FINAL
New Hampshire 72
Northern Ill 66 FINAL
Notre Dame 91
William & Mary 62 FINAL
Old Dominion 69
Liberty 47 FINAL
Princeton 65
Delaware 81 FINAL
Robert Morris 84
MD-Eastern Shore 82 FINAL
St Bonaventure 80
Colgate 43 FINAL
Syracuse 78
Kansas 52 FINAL
Temple 77
Mercer 54 FINAL
Tennessee 64
East Tenn St 60 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 84
Va Military 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Bucknell 53 FINAL
Wake Forest 60
Alabama A&M 62 FINAL
Western Mich 71
New Orleans 59 FINAL
Indiana 79
Columbia 65 FINAL
Connecticut 80
Long Beach State 49 FINAL
St Johns 66
Wofford 44 FINAL
West Virginia 77
Southern U 66 FINAL
Baylor 70
UAB 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 83
Char Southern 54 FINAL
Colorado State 75
North Florida 70 FINAL
Iowa 80
NC Central 67 FINAL
Jackson State 64
Rice 72 FINAL
Lamar 79
Central Mich 89 FINAL
McNeese State 56
Coppin State 56 FINAL
Michigan 72
Furman 76 FINAL
Minnesota 86
SE Missouri St 51 FINAL
Ole Miss 82
Weber State 51 FINAL
Oklahoma 85
Grambling St 39 FINAL
TCU 80
Loyola-Chicago 62 FINAL
Texas Tech 44
Incarnate Word 47 FINAL
Tulsa 76
Penn 50 FINAL
Vanderbilt 79
Chicago State 38 FINAL
SIU Edwardsville 63
Simpson 62 FINAL
Drake 84
Tenn Tech 81 FINAL
UMKC 60
Murray State 83 FINAL
Southern Ill 71
Oral Roberts 45 FINAL
Missouri State 52
Jacksonville St 65 FINAL
Air Force 66
Milwaukee 54 FINAL
Arkansas 84
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
California 56
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
LSU 71
North Dakota 54 FINAL
Marquette 67
Northern New Mexico 39 FINAL
New Mexico St 78
UC Santa Barbara 78 FINAL
Oregon 82
Miami-Florida 62 FINAL
Providence 76
Northeastern 68 FINAL
St Marys-CA 72
Kent State 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 78
UC Davis 73 FINAL
Northern Colorado 63
Lewis-Clark State 81 FINAL
Eastern Wash 87
Walla Walla 52 FINAL
Portland State 94
TX A&M-CC 77 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 82
Marshall 55 FINAL
Nevada 83
Boise State 57 2nd Half 3:53
Houston 55
UC Riverside 14 2nd Half 16:58
San Diego St 27
Tulane 29 2nd Half 15:49
Washington 35
Loyola Marymount 25 2nd Half 17:16
Wichita State 45
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
BYU 48 FINAL
Memphis 55
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 54 FINAL
Ohio State 96
UMBC 87 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 78
Cornell 79 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 61
St Bonaventure 70 FINAL
Georgetown 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Northeastern 62
Eastern Washington 67 FINAL
Florida 56
Rice 63 FINAL
Texas Southern 69
Butler 72 FINAL
Illinois State 60
UC Davis 59 FINAL
(16) Stanford 71
Washington St 87 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 60
Sacramento St 94 FINAL
San Jose St 97
SIU-Edwardsville 74 FINAL
UMKC 58
Oakland 92 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 84
Belmont 43 FINAL
(14) Georgia 62
George Mason 83 FINAL
Longwood 61
Kansas 81 FINAL
Creighton 84
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Kansas State 68
UT Martin 65 FINAL
Missouri 74
Hampton 67 FINAL
DePaul 86
Florida State 65 FINAL
Tulane 54
Murray State 44 FINAL
Illinois 64
Fla Gulf Coast 74 FINAL
Arkansas State 68
BYU 62 FINAL
Utah State 58
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close