By Marion Valanoski
For The Daily Item
ELYSBURG -- It's often been said that "first impressions are lasting" so you can't begin to imagine what was going through the ranks last Saturday when after almost a two-year hiatus of competition, Kelly Doll was perfect in the first event of the Colonial Classic at the Valley Gun and Country Club prior to the start of the Pennsylvania State Shoot.
Not that Doll needed any introduction as she is already recognized as one of the top women's trap shooters in the country, but the former Hanover resident -- now residing in Australia -- had not competed since 2011 when she shot in the Pennsylvania State Meet before shoulder problems and the birth of her second child, Grace, last year forced her to the sidelines.
Doll tested her skills last Friday at the local gun Club in New Oxford and shot at 50 targets. The only practice in over two years before heading to Elysburg and this year's 122nd Pennsylvania State Shoot and carrying with her a certain amount of apprehension.
Competing in the Kim Bateman Singles, Doll not only stunned herself but the field by breaking all 100 targets to finish in the top spot of the two-day event.
"A few people asked me about how I did," Doll said while rocking her one-year old in the shade at Knoebels Grove Park near the music band shell. "But when they checked the leaderboard on the screen and saw my score I'm sure it raised a few eyebrows. I came back Sunday and broke 96 targets but a two-day average of 98 is something I'm happy to take.
"The shoulder is alright and I'm experienced enough to know where to safely place the gun and avoid any injury."
Doll may not have won the overall event but much more was gained by her opening day Saturday performance than another trophy