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Harriet hits national title

PUBLISHED: 10:08 31 January 2008 | UPDATED: 08:49 13 July 2010

Harriet hits the target.

Harriet hits the target.

Harriet Bennett, 16, a member of the rifle club at Gresham's School, Holt, has claimed the National Smallbore Rifle Association British Junior Ladies championship, taking it from her captain and club-mate Rachel Knight after only two years in her chosen sport.

Harriet Bennett, 16, a member of the rifle club at Gresham's School, Holt, has claimed the National Smallbore Rifle Association British Junior Ladies championship, taking it from her captain and club-mate Rachel Knight after only two years in her chosen sport.

Bennett has come a very long way in a very short period of time. She is an established member of the Norfolk County Ladies' team, and also shoots for the county's reserve side.

A barrage of 'tons' - perfect scores of 100 - over the last few months secured her a berth in the victorious British Schools' squad in their postal match against the New Zealand Schools, where she contributed the second highest score. In her first year in target rifle shooting, Bennett became the British Schools' U15 champion and won her class in the nationally-contested West Kent Open Championship. She also took part in her club's successful fullbore (7.62mm calibre) tour of Trinidad and Jamaica.

To claim her victory, Bennett had to contest two rounds of the match. Using a .22 calibre target rifle, she jointly top-scored with Knight in the first round, their scores of 292 ex 300 a comfortable six points ahead of the nearest opposition.

In the final, she repeated the feat to inch past Knight by one point.

In the short term, Bennett is aiming to claim a place in the England team for the British Schools' home internationals and to win the British Schools' individual title. In the longer term she hopes to break into Norfolk's full county smallbore and fullbore teams and to become an 'Atheling', a member of the Great Britain U19 fullbore team to Canada.

Away from the range, Bennett is an accomplished alto singer and principal bassoonist for the Norfolk Youth Orchestra. Once she has taken her GCSE exams this summer, she plans to take up A Levels in chemistry, physics, maths, music and Latin.

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