Oak Mountain student nearly medals in Athens

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2004

From Staff Reports

An Oak Mountain High School student was one point shy of earning a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Collyn Loper, a senior at OMHS, took fourth place in the women’s trap final Monday, finishing just one point behind Korea’s Lee Bo Na, who placed third.

The 17-year-old Loper is the youngest member of the American shooting team. She is also blind in her right eye. Loper relies on the 20-20 vision in her left eye when shooting trap with her Perazzi MX8 12-gauge shotgun, according to media reports.

The Indian Springs resident nailed each of her first 13 targets in the final round and appeared to be in contention for the silver medal before missing her 16th,

19th and 20th shots to barely slip from the top three.

Loper attributed her strong early performances to reaching the &uot;zone.&uot;

&uot;Everyone has what they call the zone,&uot; she told NBC sports. &uot;You know you hit the zone when you’re doing great. I hit it for the most part because I had to. In order for me to win I had to be there.&uot;

Loper won the women’s trap competition at the 2004 National Championships in July. She also earned the gold at the 2003 Pan American Games and took the bronze at the 2001 Junior World Clay Target Championship.

Also competing in the Olympic Games from Shelby County is Briarwood Christian graduate Cat Reddick.

Reddick, a member of the U.S. Olympic soccer team, was a former standout in both soccer and basketball for the Lions.

Team USA defeated Brazil 2-0 Saturday and was scheduled to play Australia yesterday.

The gold medal match for women’s soccer will be held Aug. 26