Brian Curtis, NBC 5 News
TCU Junior, Sarah Scherer, will carry America's hopes for gold in the 10-meter air rifle competition at this summer s London Olympics.
Texas Christian University junior, Sarah Scherer, will carry America's hopes for gold in the 10-meter air rifle competition at this summer’s London Olympics.
The 21-year-old is a remarkable shot. From a distance of more than 30 feet, Scherer can hit the exact center of a small paper target over and over again.
"The person who's going to win the gold is probably going to shoot a 399 or 400, which is hitting those 39 or 40 times out of 40," Scherer said.
TCU coach, Karen Monez, says Scherer is capable of medal-winning scores.
"It is very difficult to get to that high level where you can do that every time you pick up a gun, and that’s what she can do," Monez said.
Scherer has led TCU to two national titles.
"I've been at the world level. I have been able to perform, and I've shot the scores that are going to win it. So I know I can do it," Scherer said.
Stiff leather clothing helps Scherer maintain her standing position for more than an hour.
"If we didn't have those jacket or pants, honestly our backs would be broken by now," Scherer said.
She has learned to relax every muscle, including her heart. "Any kind of pulse is negative for us," she said.
A computer scores her shots with unforgiving accuracy.
Scherer follows in the footsteps of her brother, Stephen. He competed in the same event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
"Just watching him compete at that level, the top athletes in the world shooting shoulder-to-shoulder, was really cool," Sarah said.
Stephen and Sarah were raised by their mother, Susan, in Massachusetts. She home-schooled her children and nurtured their shared passion for shooting.
"They have a good personality for it, a good demeanor. Very self-driven to improve. You need that in shooting," Susan Scherer said.
The sport also drew brother and sister together. "They were each other’s best friends," said Susan Scherer.
In 2010, the family suffered a heartbreaking loss. Stephen took his own life. "You never really get over it," Sarah said.
"You know, I never question God why. I'm just sad not to have him," her mother said.
The family focuses on happy memories and the upcoming Olympics.
"One good thing is, we were really close," Sarah said. "The years I got to have with him I really hold dear to my heart."
Susan Scherer says she's looking forward to seeing her daughter compete on the same Olympic stage as her son. "You can see God’s plan in it," she said.
Sarah Scherer says she is ready for the Olympics. "It's really who’' going to be there putting forth the mental effort and just who really, really wants it."
And when Sarah steps to the firing line for Team U.S.A., she says her brother will be with her.
"I don't know how it all works up there, if he can watch or anything," she said. "I carry him with me wherever I go."