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Skeet shooter sets her sights on global adventures

skeet shooter

World-class skeet shooter Haley Dunn hopes to travel to Beijing in August as part of the U.S. Olympic team. Photo by Ryan Gibbons, Recreational Services and Facilities

“Boomerang kids” have become a common phenomenon, moving back home after graduation to mooch off their folks while putting off life in the real world. But Haley Dunn is more like a pinball.

The world-class skeet shooter graduated in December 2007 with a degree in agricultural business management and a jet-set schedule. Highlights include product testing with Field and Stream magazine in Iowa, fishing in Alaska and competing in the Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. August is penciled in for what she hopes will be a trip to Beijing as part of the U.S. Olympic team, and considering that she won a bronze medal at the first Olympic trial, chances look good.

“When I make the team, my schedule will be even worse,” Dunn says. Not that she’s complaining. Planned training trips include Korea, China, Germany and Serbia.

Luckily, Dunn has experienced the rigors of Olympic life. She traveled to Athens as a first alternate on the 2004 team. She didn’t get to compete, but she did get the star-struck fan thing out of her system after brushing elbows with athletes such as wrestler Rulon Gardner. “He’s like a refrigerator,” she says. “You can’t walk up and ask for their autograph or anything because you’re supposed to be the same caliber of athlete.”

A native of Eddyville, Iowa, Dunn chose Mizzou for access to the Cedar Creek Rod and Gun Club, owned by Ralph Gates, BS ’69, and wife Mary Ann, BA ’68, MA ’88. She also wanted to participate in the MU shooting club, which placed third in the nation at the 2007 American Skeet National Championships, sponsored by the Association of College Unions International.

For now, Dunn’s life is an open appointment book: “I just want to see what happens next.”