Since she was 9 years old, Johnson High graduate Jodie Briggs Blacklock has had a knack for hitting her mark.
She began her foray into the world of being a markswoman as a member of a 4-H BB gun team.
Five years later, as a ninth grader at Johnson High School, she began firing air pistols competitively.
It didn’t take her long to shoot to the top of the sport.
In March 2002, as a freshman at Truett McConnell and four years after first picking up an air pistol, Blacklock won the National Rifle Association Intercollegiate Pistol Championship and set new national records at Tom Lowe Shooting Grounds in Atlanta.
In addition to winning the 2002 Women’s Intercollegiate’s, Blacklock finished fifth in the women’s sport pistol competition and was the women’s aggregate winner for the Championship, posting the highest combined score of precision air pistol and sport pistol.
In 2003, she followed that by finishing first at the USA Shooting National Championships held at Fort Benning.
And this year, the self-proclaimed "semi-retired markswoman" will be one of the five athletes inducted into the Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
"I am honored and excited to be inducted into the Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame alongside so many other great athletes," Blacklock said. "It is a privilege to become part of such an esteemed group. None of my accomplishments would have been possible without the tremendous support that I have received throughout my shooting career from my family and the Northeast Georgia community."
Blacklock pointed out several highlights in her illustrious career, but also noted that it wasn’t necessarily winning that was the most enjoyable.
"The biggest thing for me," said Blacklock, who currently resides in Washington State and is a graduate of Clemson University, "was getting to travel a lot and meet so many great people."
Among those places were Toronto, where in 2002 she won the silver medal at the 20th Annual Crosman Airgun Grand Prix in the International Junior Women’s 10-meter air pistol competition.
The Crosman Grand Prix was the largest airgun competition in North America and drew more than 250 international competitors.
She also traveled with the world championship team to Finland and had the opportunity to compete in the Olympic Trials.
"The Olympic Trials were a great experience for me," Blacklock said. "A lot of people helped me out along the way and I’m grateful to them for helping me realize my dreams."
The Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is located in the Northeast Georgia History Center on the campus of Brenau University.
The History Center will recognize athletic excellence at a 11:30 a.m. luncheon on Aug. 29, at the Georgia Mountains Center in downtown Gainesville. Guest speaker Damon Evans, athletics director for the University of Georgia, will help honor 15 Northeast Georgia athletes and one highly successful team. There will be five retired athletes inducted into the Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. An additional "Elite 10" athletes, some of Northeast Georgia’s best athletes of the last 10 years, will be named.
Table sponsorships are available for $350, and sponsors may choose to have their table host one of the athletes to be recognized on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of individual tickets are available for $25. Call the History Center at 770-297-5900 to make your reservations.