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Teen shooter wins Junior Olympic events

Briley Sralla wins gold medals at Junior Olympics

Johnson City teen Briley Sralla earned two gold medals in shooting events at the U.S. Junior Olympics, which were May 13-15 at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Courtesy photo

The best small-bore and air rifle shooter in Texas is now the best nationally in her age group. Thirteen-year-old Briley Sralla captured both gold medals in the 14-and-under age group at the U.S. Junior Olympics on May 13-15 at Hillsdale College in Michigan. 

She scored 1,195.5 points in the air rifle competition and 1,134 points in the small bore competition. She qualified for the Junior Olympics by winning both events at the state competition in February.

Both tournaments are under USA Shooting, the sport’s governing body.

Sralla, who is a student at Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School in Johnson City, said she felt “pretty good” after winning the national titles.

“I knew I could do it,” she said. “I really tried and used everything I practiced. It showed. I was a little nervous going into it, but I got on the range and do what I usually do.”

“We never imagined this would happen,” mother Krissy Sralla said. “It’s not something on your radar. It’s huge for her to bring home gold in both. It’s a rare thing. This is the pinnacle of all events. It’s the biggie.”

The national shooting competition drew a number of college coaches. Plus, with Briley’s performance, her mom said she could be considered for the national team, which feeds into the Olympic program.

Briley is a member of the Texas Hill Country shooting team, which is coached by Ron Haffner. Team members won a total of three gold medals at nationals. 

While Sralla has qualified for the U.S. Junior Olympics three times, this was her second time to compete. The event was canceled in 2020 because of COVID-19. She was one of the youngest athletes to compete in 2019. 

Sralla won’t take much time off. She already has matches lined up across the country.

She was still contemplating where to put her new gold medals. 

“They’re currently in my room,” she said. “I have a decent-sized rack with quite a few medals. I’ll have a special place for them. I just don’t know where yet.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com