McKenna Beckham started out shooting from an early age with her father. She fondly recalls trips to the range―shooting in the desert with family. Now age 16, she has been shooting competitively since entering her teenage years―since early 2016.
Beckham was introduced to smallbore rifle through the Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association (ASRPA), shooting the Western Wildcat match three short months after beginning in the discipline. Participating in the NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program, McKenna gained a good basis for high power positions, shooting four-position smallbore rifle.
For McKenna, each shooting experience builds on the previous one.
“Marksmanship has taught me discipline and maturity,” she says. “It has also taught me [that] goals that seem nearly impossible can be achieved through hard work and dedication.”
McKenna Beckham at the 2018 President’s 100 Rifle Match.
Over the past two years, McKenna has not only been continuing to improve as a shooter but has been coaching the Naval Sea Cadets in three-position smallbore.
“I love the shooting community and how my relationships with others have grown from shooting,” she says about her shooting experiences thus far, adding, “I have met some of my best friends through shooting high power. I’ve been lent just about every piece of gear out there (including rifles).”
It is this support that has helped McKenna to get to where she is now. Her greatest accomplishments include winning High Woman at the 127th Washington’s Birthday Match and High Junior at the Arizona State Smallbore Prone Championships.
McKenna advises new shooters to stick with it, even in the face of failure.
“If I had to give one piece of advice it would be … don’t get discouraged. It is a very difficult sport in the beginning, but once you start to improve it becomes incredibly rewarding.”
McKenna Beckham shooting at the 600-yard line.
Outside of shooting, Mckenna runs cross country, plays flute in concert band and also enjoys hiking and playing with her dogs. Additionally, she spends a good bit of time cooking and baking.
McKenna recalls that when she was a toddler she had plans to become a baker. Her plans have changed since then.
“I would like to attend a service academy and eventually serve in the U.S. Secret Service. It has always been my dream to serve my country in the military and law enforcement.”
Shooting high power teaches leadership skills and develops character. McKenna Beckham continues using her experiences to help guide others. She will undoubtedly inspire younger shooters as others have inspired her. More articles by Serena Juchnowski: