Despite disabilities, young sharpshooter wins state in Wayne, NE - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Despite disabilities, young sharpshooter wins state in Wayne, NE


Shooting a rifle requires excellent coordination, which can be challenging for any youngster.

One girl from Mullen, Neb., wants to follow in the footsteps of her father. But, it's not as easy for her. That little girl has a laser-like focus, when she zeroes in on her target.

"Since she's been born we've been kind of pushing her to do as much as possible," said Kyle Hoyt, her father.

Nine-year-old Gracie Hoyt just wanted to be like the other kids, but that's not always easy. 

"I was a little surprised to see that she was the only girl there that had that kind of arms," said Isabelle Salters, her friend.

Although Gracie was born without full-length arms, she still loves to compete.

"Does everything everyone else does, she just has a different way of doing it, and you know, BB gun is no exception," said Kyle Hoyt.

She uses a spring-stand, like athletes do in the Paralympics. Her father, and expert marksman himself, helped her build this custom gun.  This is Gracie's second time competing for a state title. 

"He did it so I wanted to try it," said Gracie.  

Some of Gracie's techniques are a little different, but the fundamentals are the same.

"I'm happy for her," said Shayna Kramer, her cousin. "She always wanted to do something. So, she's happy to do it."

Gracie finished her day with a new state record 376 out of 400, which put her in first place. Her team has qualified for the national championship in Rogers, Ark., in early July.

Gracie's goals are to compete and fit in with other kids, and both of those shots are on target..

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