Rising Shooting Stars: Elizabeth “Libby” Faust

Some of the best shooters weren't born with gun in hand at all ... as Libby proves, "natural" ability isn't necessary.

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posted on April 2, 2024
Rising Shooting Stars Libby

Many believe the best shooters are born with gun in hand, possessing innate shooting ability. Twenty-year-old Elizabeth “Libby” Faust’s success as a rising shooting star proves that false—you don’t need to be a “natural” at shooting to win.

Libby’s first exposure to firearms came through hunting—tagging along with her dad when she was young. Her parents and another family worked together to start a high school shooting team when she was a freshman in high school. She participated, but admits she wasn’t a big fan. Competitive travel softball was much more important to her, but she kept trying with her dad as her dad was the coach. Everything changed when her dad introduced her to skeet shooting about two years later.

“I transferred to the Des Moines Clay Crushers and met some really amazing people and coaches that made me the shooter I am today,” said Faust. “My junior year of high school was the year I put the most work in, practicing every day, and having competitions every weekend—sometimes more than one competition per weekend.

“After that, my shooting career took off,” she continued. “I committed to shooting at Wartburg College and have been going to competitions and competing ever since.”

While every person’s story is different, making a college team after only really working on shooting for two years? That is impressive! Libby explained that though she wasn’t passionate about shooting at first, it has always been a learning experience for her.

“Shooting does not come naturally to me and I have had to put in twice as much work as some other people,” Libby explained. She had to miss high school dances and other events to attend practices and competitions, but she doesn’t regret it.

“Through shooting, I have learned what hard work and dedication truly is. There is no other better feeling than feeling truly proud of yourself for reaching a certain score or milestone, and without making sacrifices, I don’t think I would be where I am today.” She enjoys the challenge, working to improve her shooting skills and herself along the way.

Shooting in college has been an even more transformative experience for Libby. Working with different coaching styles and personalities, she’s had to learn to handle tough situations—a skill she can apply throughout her life. Though she has met a number of people who have had significant impacts on her, her family is still at the root of it all. Shooting allows her to spend quality time with her family, especially her dad, who competes alongside her.

“Shooting definitely has brought my Dad and I closer, which is something that I really thank shooting for,” she said.

Skeet shooting doesn’t require much equipment: just a gun, chokes, eye and ear protection and a gear bag. Libby absolutely loves her Krieghoff K-80 shotgun and Pilla glasses.

“My whole family has a pair, including my Mom who doesn’t shoot!” she said. Though many don’t think about cleaning until after the competition, Libby always has an Otis Technology cleaning kit in her bag, just in case. Water and gum are also on her must-have list. This setup clearly works for her ... after all, Libby won the 2023 ACUI SCTP Classic All-American Female National Championship as a college freshman. Her Wartburg Clay Target Team won the Classic All-American Division Two team national championship the same year. She’s also fired a number of 100 straights, claimed various NSSA state awards, won high school SCTP state skeet, and was appointed SCTP high school Iowa state skeet team captain. These are only a few of Libby’s many accomplishments.

This summer, Libby will be traveling to various NSSA events with her father, followed by the Skeet Worlds in September. In addition to being on the Wartburg College shooting team, Libby is majoring in psychology and minoring in public and organizational relations with plans to become a clinical psychologist. She has her own photography business, Elizabeth Janel Photography, is president of the campus psychology club, and participates in Student Senate and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee.

Shooting is at the heart of Libby’s life. It is a lifetime sport that doesn’t end after college and something she shares with her family. If she has kids someday, she wants to be able to continue the tradition—to “teach them how to shoot, and support them just as my parents supported me.”

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