Arizona youths win national titles at shooting competition
August 13, 2008
PHOENIX – Arizona shooters garnered five medals, the most of any state, at the Scholastic Clay Target Program National Championships for skeet and sporting clays Aug. 1-2 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Ill.
Arizona competitors brought home two national championship title gold medals, one second-place silver medal and one third-place bronze medal from the skeet competition, and one third-place bronze medal in sporting clays.
This is the second consecutive year that Arizona came away with the best showing. There were 356 competitors in skeet and 338 in sporting clays.
“Everyone in Arizona should be very proud of our young SCTP shooters. Each year we come away from these events as one of the top competitors, and that only happens through the hard work and support of the parents, clubs, certified volunteer instructors and many volunteers,” says Bill McLean, chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission. “We are very happy to administer this shooting program; it’s a winner – just like these young shooting ambassadors.”
Shooters competed in five divisions for both skeet and sporting clays: varsity, grades 9-12; junior varsity, grades 9-12; intermediate advanced, grades 6-8; intermediate entry; grades 6-8; and rookie, grades 5 and under.
The Red Mountain Target Terminators won the skeet national championship in the junior varsity division by breaking 570 out of 600 targets, with team members Wesley Borie, Luke McCabe-O‚Donnell and Kyle Johnson, all of Phoenix.
The IA1 Ben Avery Clay Crushers won the skeet national championship in the intermediate advanced division by breaking 567 out of 600 targets, with team members Tanner Bissell of Desert Hills, Perry Miller of Goodyear and Holden Huff of Scottsdale.
The IA2 Ben Avery Clay Crushers took third place in the skeet intermediate advanced division by breaking 552 out of 600 targets, with team members Shelby Shank of Phoenix, Austin Elbert of Waddell, and Chase Karvanek of Anthem.
The Red Mountain Target Terminators took second place in the skeet intermediate entry division by breaking 553 out of 600 targets, with team members Stephen Fuller of Phoenix, Kent Everett Thomas of Mesa, and Eric Fleming of Chandler.
In sporting clays, the Ben Avery Clay Crushers took third place in the rookie division by breaking 350 out of 600 targets, with team members Casey Coleman of Peoria, Mitchell Jones of Glendale, and Tyler Sims of Dewey.
“Our teams did awesome,” says Ashley Lynch, the department’s shooting sports coordinator. “Once again, they have worked hard all year long, and now they have medals to show for their effort. I’m very proud of them all.”
Prizes in the form scholarship I-Bonds, ranging from $100-$1,000, are awarded to the winning squads from varsity through intermediate entry.
The Arizona Game and Fish Commission and Department began funding and administering Arizona’s SCTP in 2004. More than 500 kids participated this past season in Arizona.
Nationally, SCTP was launched by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in 2000 to offer students in grades 12 and under an opportunity to compete as a team in trap, skeet and sporting clays. The ultimate goal is to instill a commitment to safe firearm handling, teamwork and leadership. More than 9,000 competitors from 41 states competed this past year across the country.
Many SCTP shooters go on to compete at the collegiate level. Olympians are rarer, but former SCTP stars Corey Cogdell of Eagle River, Ala. and Vincent Hancock of Eatonton, Ga. will represent the U.S. in Beijing in women’s trap and men’s skeet, respectively.
To learn more about Arizona’s SCTP program, visit www.azgfd.gov/sctp. For all the results from the national SCTP competition, visit www.nssf.org/sctp.