At the Association of Colleges Union International competition in San Antonio, Texas, the Chargers won their seventh Division III championship ever, beating the second place team by only 10 targets.
After securing a second national championship this season, the Hillsdale Charger Shotgun team ended the season on a high note, defeating the 17 other teams in the largest division represented at the competition.
The three-day event began on a bit of a challenging first competition: the sporting clays event. While the average score across the board was 60/100 targets, junior Anthony LaMacchia and sophomore Tommy Rodgers cinched 78/100 targets for their respective squads.
“I’ve shot plenty of state championship level sporting clays courses, and this was on par or harder than all of them,” LaMacchia said. “This came entirely out of left field, and was much harder than any of us could have anticipated.”
The Chargers performed far higher than 372 targets in the Sporting Clays event in the American Trap and Skeet with scores of 491/500 and 487/500 respectively.
In the American Trap competition sophomore Woodrow Glazer shot a perfect 100/100 targets, earning himself the individual men’s American Trap national title. Freshman Jessica Strasser also scored a perfect 100/100, and earned second place in the individual women’s American Trap national title. Following close behind were freshmen Billy “Bada” Stuart with 98/100 targets, Jackson Sokel with 97/100 targets, and Sam Blevins with 96/100 targets.
“I was really hoping to shoot well in trap because I felt sort of defeated after the sporting clays shoot,” Strasser said. “I felt really confident going in and it felt surreal to get all 100.”
Sophomore Ida Brown and Glazer led the Chargers with scores of 97/100 for the skeet portion of the competition, while LaMacchia scored 96/100 and junior Brandon Korhonen scored 93/100.
While not one of the main events of ACUI, the Chargers competed in the optional Super Sporting event and scored 425/500, winning by a single target over University of Texas. ACUI nationals will feature Super Sporting as a main event next year.
Usually the team would continue with off-season practices following the final shoot of the semester, but with ammo shortages, individual team members have the choice to shoot if they supply their own ammo.
“I want the team to continue to have the freedom to work on what they need to,” Hintz said. “But next year I want to make sure that the amount of time people are spending on specific disciplines is more what we need to work on as a group.”