Alex Provine shot an air rifle with the Flowing Wells JROTC Rifle Team for the first time in August 2009.
"Her form was so good we all commented on the fact she had potential," said retired Maj. Bob De Witt, the Army JROTC instructor at Flowing Wells High School.
Today, Provine's air rifle skills are sharper than ever after she recently broke two Army JROTC records for overall and standing scores to help the Flowing Wells rifle team defend its state title Jan. 22 at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility in Phoenix.
She posted a score of 570 out of a possible 600 at the state match to break the previous Army JROTC overall record of 567.
And with a score of 189 in the standing position, Provine broke the previous Army JROTC standing record of 185.
"Being able to hold new records makes me appreciate everything my coaches and teachers have done for me," she said.
Provine attends Canyon del Oro High School in the Amphitheater school district, but participates in the Army JROTC program at Flowing Wells because it's not offered at her school.
The junior attends JROTC classes on the Flowing Wells campus twice a week, but also practices before her Canyon del Oro classes at Flowing Wells' shooting facility four times a week.
Provine's climb in the sport happened in less than two years as a result of the time and energy she dedicates to shooting, she said.
"The biggest thing is time," she said. "Anything worth trying for takes time."
She qualified for the U.S. Junior Olympics in smallbore rifle shooting.
Her teammate, Tyler Rico, also qualified for the junior Olympic team.
Rico, a distinguished shooter in his own right, is one of Provine's coaches.
"I've been coaching her and working with her on her techniques, positions and mental training," Rico said. "She's a natural. She's willing to learn. She puts in the time and effort. She has the will to win."
De Witt attributes Provine's success partly to Rico, a junior at Flowing Wells.
"He has mentored her to the point that they are beating each other," he said.
Provine edged out Rico by five points at the state title event, where participants shot air rifles at targets 10 meters away in standing, prone and kneeling positions.
Rico said the friendly competition between him and Provine benefits the team because they want to practice harder to keep up with one another.
Flowing Wells' rifle team, which also is made up of juniors Paul Hurd and Wayne Smith, will next compete in mid-February in the Army JROTC Service Championship in Anniston, Ala.
Contact reporter Andrea Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or 807-8430.