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Amanda Klug shoots during the Charger Fall Invi­ta­tional on Sat­urday. Austin Gergens | Col­legian

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.