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.