Brandie Neal has the golden touch.
Neal took home a gold medal for the United States Thursday in the skeet shooting competition at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo. With a score of 93 Neal took home one of team U.S.A.'s 27 gold medals.
Neal is a graduate of Owen Valley High School and niece to Betty Slack of Brazil. She is the only woman on the U.S.A.'s three-member skeet team. Neal is hoping to claim a spot on the three-person U.S. Olympic team for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece. She had already qualified for eligibility in the Olympic tryouts based on her scores in the Pan Am selection process. Bringing home a gold from the Dominican Republic will give the skeet shooter a better shot at the Olympics.
Neal was born in Indianapolis, lived in Martinsville until age 11, then moved to the Gosport area with her family. Slack says, "The whole family is very proud of her."
The 22-year-old currently resides at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. where the Olympic trials will be held this fall and where she is working under the direction of Olympic Skeet Team Coach Lloyd Woodhouse.
Anyone interested in sponsoring Neal through the "Adopt An Athlete" program can make a check payable to USA Shooting with Neal's name in the memo section . Mail donations to Lloyd Woodhouse, USA Shooting Building, 1 Olympic Plaza, Colorado Springs, CO 80909. Donations will be used to fund Neal's trip expenses and practice supplies.
The Pan American games started Aug.1 and are running until the 17th. Log onto www.cbc.com for more information.