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TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

A perfect score: Mindy Miles is right on target


Standing 10 meters away, aiming at a target the size of a pencil tip, freshman Mindy Miles takes a deep breath, places the rifle in position and shoots.

Sixty shots later, scoring a 10 on each shot, Miles received a perfect score of 600 in the air rifle competition at the Patriot Conference Championship on Feb. 8.

Since rifle became a NCAA sport in 1980, there have been five shooters to ever receive a perfect score at the collegiate level. Two of them have been Horned Frogs, and Miles is one of them.

Miles said that when she walked off the line she had no idea what was going on.

“People were hugging me and clapping, everyone was just so excited. I was so excited,” she said. “I just shot sixty tens in a row and it still hasn’t really set in.”

Sarah Scherer, the other Horned Frog to shoot a perfect score, graduated from TCU in December 2013. Scherer got her perfect score on November 1, 2011 against Alaska in the air rifle competition.

As for Miles, the freshman shooter from Weatherford, Texas, her time has just begun on the TCU women’s rifle team. With three more seasons left as a Horned Frog, Miles says she needs to stay focused and keep practicing to keep her scores up.

Miles started shooting only five years ago because her father, Chip Miles, asked her to, she said.

“I hated it at first and my dad knew it,” she said. “My dad handed me a gun and said go on.”

Miles began shooting in 4-H, a positive youth development and mentoring organization, as part of their shooting program. It started out as a recreational activity for her, she said. Miles started to attend more matches, competing in bigger competitions and eventually, came to love the sport.

Miles had never shot with a team or got any official coaching before attending TCU.

“The team makes a difference,” she said. “The team motivates you, the coach motivates you. I am not only individually shooting for myself anymore, I am shooting towards the team goal.”

Miles said she loves shooting air rifle. The air rifle competition consists of shooting 60 times in one position: standing. Where as in the smallbore competition, there are three different positions: standing, kneeling and prone

Mile’s father built tunnels for her to shoot through in a shop behind their house, she said.

Her dad said he used to practice with her out in the shop.

“We used to have friendly competitions,” he laughed. “It is just not fair anymore.”

Rifle head coach Karen Monez said that Miles is a tenacious shooter.

“She is very driven and wants to succeed,” Monez said. “She is willing to put in the time on the practice line, and that is necessary to improve your performance and that is what I like to see in a team member.”

Monez said Miles has attended the Horned Frog Invitational at TCU for several years now.

“I had my eye on her early on,” Monez said. “From her shooting here at TCU, I knew she had the talent. I knew she had the potential and it made my recruiting job a lot easier.”

Monez said rifle is all about mental toughness and perfection.

“She achieved the hard part by getting a perfect score. The harder part is duplicating that perfection and having the ability to repeat that.” Monez said. “There is no margin for error when you are shooting at that small dot 10 meters away.”

It is vey hard for shooters to control their emotions when they see their score rising. Shooters must stay focused so that their emotions do not throw off their next shots and mess up their chances of achieving that perfect score, said Monez.

She said Miles held her emotions together and although difficult to do, she shot perfection.

At the end of the 2014-15 rifle season, Miles holds an average score of 591 in air rifle, 573 in smallbore and an average aggregate score of 1164.

The TCU women’s rifle team is currently in the offseason, but Miles has been training for the Junior Olympic Shooting Championship coming up this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Freshmen Nicholle Benedict and Ariana Grabowski will also be competing at the Junior Olympics.

When asked if she is shooting for another 600, Miles laughed.

“Of course that is a goal, but as long as I am shooting my best,” she said. “As for now, I am just practicing and gearing up for the Junior Olympics and, hopefully, my scores will reflect that.”

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