Barrett Moore shoots trap for the Hillsdale College shotgun team. (Amanda Klug | Courtesy)

During the ACUI Midwest Regional com­pe­tition on Oct. 13 and 14, the Hillsdale Shotgun Team faced off against 19 college teams and emerged vic­to­rious with a massive margin of 35 targets sep­a­rating them from the second place team, Oklahoma State Uni­versity.

“At nationals in years past we have only won by 6 – 7 targets,” assistant coach Jordan Hintz said, “ at ACUI we really showed up as a team and per­formed well.”

Equally as impressive as their team score was that three out of the six top male shooters were com­prised of Hillsdale men.  Senior Matt Grun­zweig, junior Lucas Pier­accini, and senior Emanuel Boyer all scored in the top six male shooters. Senior Amanda Klug scored fifth in the High Over All Standings for women.

The first day of the com­pe­tition con­sisted of a gru­eling back-to-back 100 sporting clay and 100 trap targets.

“At nationals we only shoot about 100 – 200 targets over the weekend,” Hintz said.

“The trap shots were about two feet lower than normal, so we ques­tioned our pre-shot routine,” said Klug, “We already shot 100 sporting clay targets that morning and were tired.”  

This season the team has prac­ticed skeet shooting the least but iron­i­cally scored the best in that cat­egory. The Halter Shooting Sports Center only has one skeet field, so less than half of the team can practice at a time which is a struggle.

Day two of the com­pe­tition included 50 super sporting clay targets and 100 skeet targets.

“We really shined on day two, in skeet we did very well overall,” assistant coach Hintz said, “As a team we only missed 13 out of the 500 shots.”

Sophomore Barrett Moore shot skeet for the first time in com­pe­tition and in one round shot every one of the 25 targets.

“I had some really good shooters on my squad to watch as examples,” Moore said, “I chose to focus on each shot and not the entire com­pe­tition.”  

“The com­pe­tition was the most chal­lenging so far, par­tially because it was the first trav­eling shoot.” Hintz said.”

When not com­peting, the team enjoys pool hangouts which they call  ‘swimmies.’ Spending time together off the field helps them develop team chem­istry and gal­vanize friend­ships.  

Next  to the ACUI com­pe­tition in the spring, the SCTP nationals com­pe­tition in Columbus,  Ohio Oct. 26 – 28th is the next most important com­pe­tition of the season.

“It’s really important going into this com­pe­tition that everyone stays healthy because that can really adversely affect your shooting,” freshman Anthony LaMacchia said.