The Hillsdale shotgun team dominated three other collegiate teams in its Fall Invitational, finishing ahead of Michigan State University, Purdue University, and Grace University.
Hillsdale beat MSU 851 targets to 769 targets, a large margin of over 80 targets.
At the invitational, the team members shot 50 trap targets, 25 international trap and 25 bunker trap, as well as 13 stations of sporting clays.
Though the Chargers don’t traditionally compete in bunker trap, they scored well on Saturday.
Senior Matt Grunzweig and junior Lucas Pieraccini were the top scorers with 177 and 175 targets hit, respectively.
“Before the round of sporting clays, the show pairs are thrown and I track them with my arm to simulate the movements I will make with my gun” Grunzweig said.
A show pair is two clays shot out of the clay throwers and allows shooters to glean the direction and speed of the shot before attempting to shoot them. This ‘pre-shot routine’ conducted by the team members is significant because it helps one establish a consistency, and get a baseline for the path of the clays.
“Depending on competition and course, a station could have a true pair, report pair, or combination of the two,” freshman Brandon Korhonen said.
A true pair is when two clays are simultaneously thrown and the shooter must shoot one and then the other. Hitting both at the same time, while challenging, doesn’t count officially and the pair must be rethrown. A report pair consists of one clay being thrown and then shot; once the first is shot the second clay is thrown.
Each station of sporting clays had four pairs thrown except two of them that threw three pairs.
The invitational provided an opportunity for the Chargers to enhance their trap accuracy and compete in sporting clays for the second time this season.
Station four of the course especially challenged both Hillsdale squads.
The team shot clays from atop a tower which differed from the other ground level stations. The second clay in the report pairt appeared to be flying diagonally right but quickly pivoted mid-flight soaring away in the opposite direction.
“I’ve never seen a shot like that in my life,” Pieraccini said.
Despite the challenging course, senior Matt Grunzweig, junior Lucas Pieraccini, and freshman Tommy Rodgers all shot above 80 targets, an impressive round of sporting clays.
The team next competes at the John A. Halter Shooting Sports Education Center Oct. 6th, in an American Trap Association shoot.