Amanda Klug shoots during the Charger Fall Invi­ta­tional earlier this season. Austin Gergens | Col­legian

The SCTP Col­le­giate Nationals in Columbus, Ohio last weekend was the most important com­pe­tition of the season for the Hillsdale College shooting team. The Chargers com­peted against 22 other col­leges in the rain and cold.

While Hillsdale placed fifth in the high overall cat­egory in Division II last season, this year they scored second in the high overall cat­egory in Division III. The change in division has to do with the smaller team size, not lack of talent.  

Coming from their win in the ACUI Midwest Regionals two weekends ago, the Chargers had expected to perform on par with their scores at that event.

The event pro­vided the team with ample chal­lenges and lessons as they prepare for their biggest shoot, the ACUI, in the spring.

“It was the most shooting we’ve ever done in that short amount of time,” assistant coach Jordan Hintz said.

The team endured some of the harshest weather for a com­pe­tition this season.

Adding layers in the cold makes it more dif­ficult for team members to properly mount their guns. They tend to wear more layers to avoid the bulk­iness of larger coats. In addition, they have to devote more time to check their guns beforehand, making sure they’re clean and dry.

Senior Amanda Klug said this com­pe­tition was sen­ti­mental for her.

“I realized that it was my last time I could go to this event and it reminded me of the seniors last year,” Klug said. “I was happy to see my improvement from last year’s SCTP com­pe­tition.”

Freshman Anthony LaMacchia rec­og­nized some areas that he could improve for the next com­pe­tition.

“I need to go back to basics because I’m losing track of them,” LaMacchia said. “Refo­cusing on fun­da­mentals such as how I used to hold my gun dif­fer­ently in trap and sporting clays.”

He rec­og­nized the support that the upper­classmen pro­vided for him and his fellow first-year team­mates.