Valley Stream Air Rifle Athlete Soars at Junior Olympics

Valley Stream Air Rifle Athlete Soars at Junior Olympics photo
Aicha Ourti, a senior at Valley Stream Central High School, has found her niche in the sport of rifle. Her achievements include top awards at the recent National Junior Olympic Championships and a goal to eventually compete in the worldwide Olympic Games. 

The Junior Olympic Championships, sanctioned by USA Shooting, took place between April 16-19 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Aicha was first-place shooter in New York State and second-place in relay. She advanced to the competition after qualifying at the New York State Air Rifle Championships at West Point in March.  

A member and first shooter of Central’s Varsity Air Rifle Team and former junior varsity athlete, Aicha had no exposure to the sport prior to her high school years. Her interest and drive, coupled with excellent guidance from coaches Jumell Wilson and Michael Sollenne, put her on a fast track to success. “I’ve always admired rifle, but I’m from the city and was not in contact with it,” she said. “I took on the opportunity with no experience; I just went for it.” 

Her passion led to All-County and All-State achievements, a co-captain spot on the Air Rifle Team and a second-place team victory at the state championships. “It’s made me a better person and very patient,” Aicha said of the sport.  

Aicha has a busy academic schedule and plans to study criminal justice at Queensboro College in the fall, but still dedicates many hours each week to rifle practice at Memorial Junior High School. She also plays badminton and volleyball, is a member of the chorus and volunteers with the Police Academy League. Next year, she plans to be back at Memorial with the Air Rifle Team as a coach.