Name: Deanna Binnie
School: Conemaugh Township
Binnie’s week: Binnie scored a Conemaugh Township record 293 during Friday’s 1,352-1,300 victory over Somerset.
It was the highest total reported to The Tribune-Democrat last week and it eclipsed the previous school record of 289, which was set by Binnie last year.
The best part for Binnie was the record-setting performance came on her 18th birthday, but the standout needed to have a conversation with her father, John Binnie, between her standing and kneeling sets.
“I shot 100 in prone and I knew I hadn’t dropped a point in the first positions. Then, I shot at last a 95 in standing,” Binnie said. “I knew I had a chance to get the record, which was what I wanted. I told my dad, ‘Dad, I need a talk down.’ My heart was beating too fast. I needed to calm down.”
The “talk down” proved effective.
“I can score my own target pretty well because when I was in eighth grade, I couldn’t shoot but I could score for the team,” Binnie said. “I got pretty good at scoring through my scope so I had an idea after kneeling. When I turned around and saw (coach Brian) Spory with a big grin, he said, ‘I think you got it.’ I said, ‘I think I did too.’ ”
Highly recruited: Binnie’s success has made her a coveted college prospect. After hearing from numbers of Division I programs, she’s narrowed it down to Ohio State, Texas Christian and Mississippi.
“The thing people don’t realize is these big schools have really big rifle programs,” Binnie said. “I’d have no chance to go to those three schools if I didn’t shoot.”
Not bad for someone who started shooting at cans at the family hunting cabin.
“She works hard and her dad is behind her 100 percent. With that kind of support, you can be that successful,” Spory said. “With those three colleges after her, she’s sitting in a pretty place.”
Record holder: The Conemaugh Township record isn’t the only one Binnie holds.
She holds 12 national records (seven team, five individual) in various categories and will participate in the Junior Olympics, which takes place in April at Colorado Springs, Colo.
Big match: Conemaugh Township and Portage are both unbeaten and the area’s premier programs.
The two compete today, and the winner will likely claim the WestPAC championship.
“The WestPAC is important to us,” Spory said. “The teams look forward to this match. We both know it will be close. It could go either way.”
Binnie added, “It’s a big match. I hope we win and I can top my record. It’s always a goal to shoot better and better.”
By Mike Kovak