Honors and Awards
Canadian Junior National Champion (2004)
Canadian National Smallbore Team (2004)
Nebraska’s Most Improved Marksman (2001-02)
Canada Winter Games Bronze Medalist (1999)
British Columbia Air Rifle Gold Medalist - Master Class (1999, 2000)
British Columbia Sharpshooter Champion - Sporting Rifle (2000)
British Columbia Junior Three-Position Champion (1999)
One of two seniors on the 2003-04 roster, Karen Aspden will look to be one of the leaders of a talented, yet youthful Husker team. The Campbell River, B.C., native has struggled at times with her eyesight, forcing her to wear corrective lenses, but has worked hard to put herself into the mix in both the air rifle and smallbore events.
"Karen is one of the hardest workers on the team and has put the effort into being an improved shooter," Head Coach Launi Meili said.
According to Meili, Aspden is a natural to join fellow senior Melissa Downsbrough as the team’s co-captains this season.
"Karen was a natural choice," Meili said. "She really listens to her teammates and gives them the nurturing support they need to be successful on the range."
After spending two seasons in a reserve role, Aspden became a regular in the lineup, competing in every tournament during the year. She ranked fourth on the team in both the air rifle and smallbore, posting an average of 377 and 1,108, respectively. Aspden’s best effort in the air rifle came against Air Force on Feb. 7, when she placed second, while her career high of 1,132 in smallbore also came against the Falcons on Oct. 19, as she placed seventh in the event. Aspden had her only top-five showing in 2002-03 in smallbore, placing third against Penn State and Akron on Nov. 17.
Aspden was named Most Improved Marksman for the 2001-02 season for her progress as a left-handed shooter. Her performance steadily improved over the course of the season, firing season bests in both smallbore (1,124) and air rifle (377) in her final competition, the NCAA Qualifier. Aspden improved her season averages in both air rifle (371) and smallbore (1,093) in her sophomore season.
The first international student to compete on the rifle team, Aspden used the 2000-01 season as an adjustment period. During the season, Aspden was found to be left-eye dominant, resulting in a switch from being a right-handed shooter to a left-handed one. After spending four years as a right-handed shooter, Aspden found the transition to a left-handed rifle a difficult one, and spent five weeks working on consistency.
She fired her first two matches right-handed before switching to left-handed for the Tennessee Tech and Kentucky triangulars. After struggling with the transition, Aspden finished the season as a right-handed shooter.
Despite the experimentation with her shooting hand, Aspden’s air rifle scores climbed slowly throughout the season, and she fired a personal-best 379 in air rifle at the NCAA Qualifier in March. But she struggled with consistency in the smallbore after posting a career-high score of 1,128 in the Huskers’ first match of the season.
As a Junior Competitor
Aspden is a two-time British Columbia Air Rifle gold medalist, master class (1999, 2000), as well as the sharpshooter champion in sporting rifle (2000). In 1999, Aspden won the British Columbia Junior three-position title. At the 1999 Canadian National Rifle Championships, Aspden finished fourth, and she won the bronze medal in the 1999 Canadian Winter Games.
The daughter of Len and Patti Aspden, Karen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Oct. 20, 1982. She has a brother, Todd, 22. Aspden is a criminology and pre-med double major.