Louisiana College Student and Top Skeet Shooter Eyes Olympics

Connor shooting in Australia.

Caitlin Connor, a political science junior at LSU, has her 12 gauge Kreighoff in hand and her eye on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil as she competes for the last empty slot on the U.S. women's skeet shooting team at the Olympic trials in Tuscon, Arizona next month, according to this story from lsureveile.com.

Connor claimed the title of women's skeet shooting national champion in June and ranks No. 2 worldwide in the sport, holding the record for best 100-straight.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," she said. "It's been, by far, my best year shooting."

There were two spots on the Olympic team open when Connor's last round of the world championship came around in September. She was in a tense three-way shootout with her teammate from the national team, Morgan Craft, and Ning Wei of China.

Craft ended up winning the gold and a spot on the Olympic team, with Connor taking silver and Wei bronze.

Connor says she's confident about filling the remaining vacancy.

"I'm not really that nervous right now—I guess because I've been shooting against a lot of really good women shooters in the U.S.," she said. "I shot against a five-time Olympic medalist…and beat her."

"I like how competitive it is and how it usually comes down to one target, keeping ourselves and everyone else on the edge of their seats until it's over," Connor said.

Olympic trials are split into two sessions, in October and May. Between the two sessions, competitors shoot about 500 targets. Whoever gets the highest combined score will take the Olympic spot.

Connor says she didn't begin shooting until 2005, when she was 15, as a hobby. It eventually turned into a competitive passion that has taken her around the world. She moved from her native Louisiana to Colorado Springs in 2009 for Olympic training in shooting, while going to community college. Four years later, Connor returned to her home sate and enrolled in LSU.

"Shooting takes up most all of my time, so I've been trying to slowly tackle college," she said in the story.

Connor is also a hunter. Her favorite season—no surprise, considering she's a Louisianan—is duck season. She's also interested in putting her political science education and firearms knowledge to work calming the public's fears about gun violence.