Early College Provides Focus To Succeed

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - by Hannah Baker, Chattanooga State
Eli Christman
Eli Christman

Eli Christman, an Early College student at Chattanooga State and graduate of Soddy-Daisy High School, competed in a shooting tournament in Colorado and finished in second place. He will now travel to Moscow, Russia to represent the United States’ Junior Team at the International Shooting Sports Federation’s World Championships from Aug. 28-Sept. 11.  

Mr. Christman began his skeet-shooting career just four years ago on his Soddy-Daisy’s clay target team, the Str8 Shooters, competing in local, state and national level tournaments for American Skeet and Sporting Clays.  

A year and a half ago he decided to change his focus to International Skeet because competing in the Olympics is his ultimate dream. In the past four years, he has won many titles including a tie for first place at the 2017 National Junior Olympics with a tie for second place at USA National Championships, but having been selected to represent the United States in the World Championship will be his proudest accomplishment to date. His greatest influence for International Skeet since the beginning has been Vincent Hancock, a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and a three-time Olympian.   

While competing at the World Championships in Moscow, he hopes to claim the title for the United States and for himself, but also wants to create memories by building friendships with people from all over the world.  He also feels that this experience will prepare him for tournaments overseas in the years to come.  

Mr. Christman typically spends six days per week training for each competition. This consists of shooting full rounds of International Skeet, working on specific stations or targets that he finds difficult and practicing for the finals. “During every tournament, I always try to get at least ten and a half hours of sleep every night and also make sure I am up two hours before I have to start shooting on tournament day to make sure my muscles are loose before each round begins,” says Mr. Christman.  

In addition to his rigorous shooting training, being a dual enrollment student at Chattanooga State has taught him many valuable life skills on- and off-the-field in order to grow as a student and an adult. As a senior in high school, he attended classes at Soddy-Daisy in the mornings and at Chattanooga State during the afternoon and evenings.

“Being a dual enrollment student at Chattanooga State as a senior in high school pushed me to succeed academically. It taught me the value of hard work and determination and has taught me how to make the most of my time. Typically, I drive up to six hours round trip to practice my shooting so being able to balance school with shooting was crucial for my academic and athletic success,” says Mr. Christman.  

His Composition II instructor, Erica Lux, had wonderful things to say about him. “Eli worked ahead in class and was never afraid to ask questions. His contributions to class discussions were always thoughtful. It is clear he is very committed to his education and he never lets his shooting career interfere with his class work. He is a student that every teacher wants to have in class,” says Ms. Lux.  

Mr. Christman is attending Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tennessee, this fall on a full academic and athletic scholarship.


Eli Christman
Eli Christman

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