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.