Maya Cameron is a record-breaker and champion many times over, and she’s only getting started. Today, we’re here to celebrate her skill, her accomplishments, and the titles she won all while shooting a Crosman Challenger.
Maya is now in her first year of college, shooting on the NCAA Rifle Team for the University of North Georgia, but her Crosman story starts four years ago, when she was in her first year at Nation Ford High School in South Carolina. She’d heard about JROTC and the rifle team in middle school, but she hadn’t grown up a shooter. Competitive shooting was just something she thought she might enjoy.
At first, she wasn’t great. Maya pulled down scores that were middling but she didn’t get discouraged — she just practiced more. She got familiar with the 2009 Challengers that her JROTC generously provided. Before and after school, she’d put in the time and dial in her shot.
In the summer between her first and second years of high school, Maya competed in her first Nationals. She was on the B team and — despite being terrified to let down her teammates — felt she did pretty well. She was wrong though. It wasn’t until the awards ceremony, when she discovered she had placed first in her age category, that she realized she’d done great!
“It felt really good,” Maya says, “because I didn’t go expecting to get on the podium. I didn’t even know winning in your age category was a thing!”
Maya’s scores kept increasing and she kept practicing, putting in as many as 20 hours a week. That paid off with her first big individual win at Marine Corps Nationals in 2020. That, too, surprised her. She said, “I didn’t think I was an individual shooting champion. I didn’t do so well at the previous comp and it hadn’t occurred to me that I could win.” She shot a personal record that day: 567 out of 600.
And that was start of a winning streak for Maya and for her team, which went undefeated for multiple years.
In Maya’s senior year, the new 2022 Challenger came out. She got to demo the air rifle early and was even asked to send some input back to our team at Crosman. In her opinion, the 2022 Challenger felt even more like a precision rifle than the 2009 model. It holds a lot more air, so she didn’t have to refill during a match, when maintaining focus is key. She calls out the pistol grip as a favorite improvement, along with the adjustable trigger shoe.
In her last National Championships, she got to give the 2022 Challenger a real workout. In this event, the best eight shooters went into the finals fresh — with their scores from the qualifying events wiped. The shooters got on the line and had their scores called out as they shot. Still as full of nerves as in her first competition, Maya won both national championships at stake, set the finals national record — and then beat those new records again on the second day of the event.
Now, at the University of North Georgia, Maya’s on the rifle team and getting used to a different class of shooting. The scores in college are a lot higher, the rifles are different, and the competition is stiffer. Still, Maya intends to take her shooting as far as she can. That might mean Team USA at the Olympics, or it could mean something else — never know until you try!
From the crew at Crosman, we send Maya Cameron our big congratulations. We can’t wait to see what comes next for her.