Mary Tucker was a force to reckon with at the 2021 Junior Pan-American Games in Columbia over the weekend, garnering two gold medals in the women's 10m and mixed team air rifle events.
Her first gold medal came in the women's 10m air rifle event. Tucker qualified for the final after taking first place in the preliminary round with a score of 632, which was 13 points ahead of the second-place shooter, Luisa Fernanda Marquez Perez of Mexico. In the final, Tucker scored 250.7 for the win over Mexican shooter Elizabeth Engracia Nieves Coronado (246.3). Tucker's U.S. teammate, Katie Zaun, took the bronze medal (225.4).
As for Tucker's second gold medal at the 2021 Pan-Am Games, it was in the mixed team air rifle event. Paired with U.S. teammate Rylan Kissell, a fellow collegiate rifle shooter at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, the duo ended the preliminary round with 625.6 points and qualified for the gold-medal final with 417.6. Tucker and Kissell went on to outshoot the Mexican team in the final, 1043.2-1028, giving them the gold medal.
Earlier this year, Tucker helped lead the Kentucky Wildcats rifle team to victory at the 2021 NCAA rifle championship. Now a sophomore, Tucker's combined smallbore and air rifle average this season is 1185, which ties her with Stephanie Grundsoe of TCU for fourth in the NCAA.
Regular readers will remember when Tucker, along with teammate Lucas Kozienisky, took the silver in the mixed team air rifle event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Here is what Evan Crane of the University of Kentucky athletics website said about Tucker's international shooting performances this year:
Tucker has been amazing internationally this year, winning 10 medals in elite competitions. At the top of that list was Tucker's silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 10m air rifle mixed team. She won six medals at the ISSF Junior World Championships, earning gold in 10m air rifle mixed team, women's 10m air rifle and women's 50m rifle three positions. She claimed silver at the junior world championships in women's 10m air rifle and women's 50m prone, while earning bronze in 50m rifle prone mixed team and women's 50m rifle three positions. At the ISSF World Cup, Tucker claimed gold in women's 10m air rifle, silver in women's air rifle team and bronze in 10m air rifle mixed team.
Read more: Tokyo Olympics-Bound: Mary Tucker