Cathy Schroeder, 62, of Georgia’s Forsyth County, recently won the Woman’s Aggregate Championship at the 2015 National Police Shooting Championships. That means her scores from individual matches were the highest among all female competitors. It’s a special victory for Schroeder, according to this story from the Forsyth Herald, after years of competition and training. But considering her background, it’s not terribly surprising.
Schroeder was a firearms instructor with the FBI, and has taught a couple hundred agents how to shoot.
“I haven’t won the overall women’s total in quite a while,” she said in the story. “I had in previous years. This year was especially sweet, because I feel kind of elderly so it was quite a sweet victory to do that.”
She previously came in 10th overall among more than 300 male and female law enforcement competitors.
The retired instructor has been a shooter for more than 30 years and gives a lot of credit for her success to her husband, Lyle. The two met when he was a firearms instructor and a competitive shooter for the Michigan State Police.
“I never shot before I came into the FBI,” Schroeder told the Herald. “They taught me how to shoot as part of my job as principal firearms instructor. I taught the 225 agents how to shoot firearms. Lyle is the one who saw something in me and encouraged me and brought me to the level I am at in competing.”
Schroeder says they would go to matches while they were dating.
“When we got married, he took me out to the range because I was having a bit of trouble with something, and he cured me of that,” Schroeder said. “He’s been my encouragement, coach, mentor, and hero.”
She says it’s still easy to get discouraged when competing, especially when you start getting older.
“Things start to fall apart, like your vision and strength. I still work out every day, but things deteriorate,” she said. “I’ve gone through cycles of not shooting well, even though I’ve shot well for many years. Then something will happen and I’ll shoot an awesome score. My husband is a big part of that. He’ll say, ‘No, you still have it, we just have to work out the bugs.'”
Schroeder says she has one more competition this year before taking some time to relax.
“I’m still basking in this glory,” she says. “It’ sheen a long time since I’ve held the overall title. I’ll keep practicing because you don’t what to be worse than you were. I’ll try it again.”
When she’s not competing, Schroeder is a part-time law enforcement firearms instructor for the NRA.