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Shooting clay targets has always been a favored pastime on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but the men and women of Washington College’s Trap and Skeet Team are taking it to the next level—competing on the national stage for trophies, endowment money, and bragging rights.
Members of Washington College’s trap and skeet team traveled from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to San Antonio, Texas, in early May to compete in the 2015 ACUI Collegiate Clay Target National Championships. The team of eight shooters finished among the top 15 competitors in sporting clays, and placed 23rd overall in six disciplines of shotgun sports—American Trap, American Skeet, International Trap, International Skeet, Sporting Clays, and 5-Stand.
“I’m so proud of them,” says assistant professor of chemistry Aaron Amick, who coaches the club sport. “To outperform schools such as Iowa State University and the Naval Academy speaks well of this team’s talent.” Among the weekend’s highlights:
Ernie Eckenrode ’17, who shot a perfect round 50x50 in American Skeet, tied for 38th ranking out of 500 male competitors in American Skeet with a score of 97x100. He also tied for 50th place in International Trap out of 430 male competitors, and was 113th overall with a combined score of 457x550.
Jacob Waechter ’16 finished 168th overall, breaking 438x550 targets. Patrick McGuinness placed tied for 126th out of 520 male competitors in American Trap with a score of 96x100. And Erica Pratt ’16 finished tied for 45th nationally in women’s Sporting Clays.
While Pratt is relatively new to competitive shooting, she knows how to handle firearms. The anthropology major grew up in Rock Hall, hunting waterfowl with her father.
Pratt was pleased with her performance at nationals, but says there’s always room for improvement. “I’m going to continue to practice over the summer and be even better next year.”