A young Jacksonville University team competing for the last time in Division III placed among the elite at the recent ACUI Clay Target Collegiate National Championships.
The JU Sporting, Skeet & Trap Team, up against 58 other teams at the 44th annual event in San Antonio, placed third overall in Division III, third in American Skeet and third in International Skeet. The team moves up to Division II next year.
“This was a very green team, as we lost some top shooters from last year's Division III National Championship Team,” said coach David T. Dobson. “However, given the new crop of inexperienced shooters, we did very well and went to the podium three times -- very proud of this team.”
A strong team is expected to return to JU next fall, Dobson noted.
“We have some superb talent that is up and coming. The Clay Target Sports are much bigger than just shooting clay targets: we are building skills and solutions for life in terms of responsibility, accountability, professionalism, discipline, respect, manners, keeping it safe and overall character.”
This year's Nationals Team consisted of 14 members: Justin Felker (Team Captain); Ashley Kohler (Co-Captain); Scott Hensley (Co-Captain); Eric Baker; Kara Feinstein; Leigh-Anne Edwards; Tarrant Dunford; Charlie “Bulldog” Needham; Erin Felker; David Gonzales; Rob Searcy; Adam Granic; Dustin Mollohan; and Becky Killinger.
The Intercollegiate Clay Target Championships are the only national tournament in which collegiate shooters may compete in six different clay target events within the same program. The events include International Skeet, International Trap, American Skeet, American Trap, Sporting Clays and Five-Stand Sporting. Sponsoring partners include Midway USA, Midway USA Foundation, the National Shooting Sporting Foundation, the National Rifle Association collegiate and School Programs, and the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation.
This year’s event from March 27-April 2 was again held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio. Members of the USA Shooting Team (Olympic Team qualifier) and ESPN were also on hand. To learn more about ACUI and the event, visit www.ACUI.org/claytargets.