Westmoreland Senior Spotlight: Hempfield’s Lydia Dunn

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Monday, February 28, 2022 | 9:00 AM


A perfect season, topped with a perfect ending.

Hempfield shooter Lydia Dunn scored a 10 on all 10 of her attempts in every section rifle match this season, and then helped her team to a WPIAL team title.

Of course, rifle is not a sport that gets put in the spotlight often, but Dunn said it’s worth taking a look at.

“There’s a variety of different people on the team,” Dunn said.

“Everyone can get an experience in a school sport.”

What makes rifle so unique is that it’s truly co-ed, and the same could not be said for the majority of sports. Six of the past seven WPIAL individual rifle championships, for instance, have been won by females.

It even allowed Dunn to compete alongside her brother at one point, something not often seen in team sports.

It opened the door for a little sibling rivalry, too.

“There was a lot of competition,” Dunn said. “It felt good having my brother by my side.”

Dunn placed fifth in the individual WPIAL competition with a score of 200-17x. She finished second at WPIALs as a junior.

Dunn is going to join the Navy as a welder after high school.

With her senior season in the books, Dunn took time for a Senior Spotlight Q&A:

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How did you get started with rifle?

Back when I was 8 or 9, I was in 4-H, and my dad said I should join the 4-H rifle team. That’s where it all started.

•••

What goes into the preparation for rifle?

Before we even start shooting, we usually start with the small stuff like how to get into the gun and everything like that. Then (we) get into the jacket and the sling. Before a match, we usually get our guns ready. The coach (Jason Wilkinson) gives a pep talk before the other team gets there or before we get to the other team’s school or range. Then we hang out, mostly playing card games to kill time.

•••

How do you think you did, personally, at WPIALs?

I feel great with this year. I’m actually really happy ending off my season, especially my senior season, with winning second place at states. With individual WPIALs, it was really tough (getting fifth), but I just powered through it.

•••

What was it like winning the team competition at WPIALs?

It was great. To be part of three of the six winning teams is even better. This year’s team is one of the best I have ever seen. Not only did we get a perfect 800, all 10 people on the team got 100s, which hasn’t been seen a lot.

•••

Why do you think rifle attracts a variety of different people?

A lot of people don’t have the experience to join other sports. Girls can’t join the football team most of the time. Guys don’t join the softball team most of the time. So, it’s something that everyone can do and has a chance to do. It’s just something very different that no one has ever done before or seen before. So a lot of people just want to experience it.

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