By Jay Young
In 2012, Jamestown resident Ben Swanson shocked the world of shooting after placing first in the National Rifle Association Rifle and Pistol Championships in the any-sight category when he was only16.
Since then, things have only gotten better for the young man.
Despite beginning his career as a competitive marksman just five years ago when he was 13, Swanson has proven himself to be one of the best sharp-shooters from not only the Jamestown area, but also the entire state of New York-and America.
After being crowned a National Champion at Camp Perry, Ohio, two years ago, Swanson has continued his training locally and has also gone on to participate in the top regional competitions over the past two years-winning two of them.
In 2012, Swanson took his talents to a regional match in Albany and ended up checking another milestone off his list, shooting a perfect match in the all-prone discipline.
From walking in as the youthful underdog, Swanson went on to leave the competition with yet another shooting title under his belt and the respect of competitive shooters who have been firing at targets longer than he has been alive.
After taking home his national trophy two years ago, Swanson mentioned that Olympic shooting was something he might be interested in and now it looks like that is another goal that could soon be conquered.
At the Jamestown Rifle Club's regional meet in January, Swanson once again earned the top shooter honor as the best marksman in New York State for the three-position meet and that means he gets another shot at the big time.
Now Swanson is set to compete against the best in the country at USA Shooting's Junior Olympic Program which is held in Colorado Springs, Colo., in April.
The honor is something that amateur marksmen spend their entire lives training for, but it only took Swanson five years of practice to get there.