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Shooting for Success
The team competed in the 2017 ACUI Collegiate Clay Target National Championships in San Antonio, Texas, where they placed 14th overall against 36 schools in the 6 disciplines of shotgun sports. WC placed 8th in International Wobble Trap, as well.
The highlight of the competition came when senior Craig Carassanesi shot a 95x100 in International Trap, which names him the International Trap B-Class National Champion. Carassanesi feels that going out with a “bang” was fitting considering his past experiences with the team.
“This trip for me was the culmination of my four unforgettable years on the trap and skeet team,” Carassanesi said. “Our annual trip to Texas to compete in the ACUI Clay Target Championships is always one to look forward to. We spend several days in San Antonio enjoying good food, great company and the sport that we all know and love.”
Head Coach Doug Pfaff, who is in his 10th year with the program, has been along Carasseni’s side throughout the entire process, dating back to when he visited WC as a senior in high school. Along with crediting his focus and solid mental game, Pfaff feels Carassanesi has developed as both a person and a shooter.
“One of the things that makes Craig a great competitor is his attitude when he is on the line competing,” Pfaff explained. “Craig kept his focus all throughout the tournament even in the face of scores that he knew wouldn’t get him on the podium and executed almost flawlessly in the International Trap event.”
Carassanesi wasn’t the only member to have a dominant performance. Sophomore Valerie Fischer took runner-up in C-Class for International Trap, while senior Kyle Hayden took the crown in the NRA shoot-off in International Skeet, which awarded him a $500 scholarship.
Fischer feels the team performance will bring motivation to get better as well as bring everyone even closer as a team.
“It is exciting to do as well as we did. That being said, I think a driving force for us is to keep improving,” she said. “Additionally, I think that what was especially nice about our competition was that it is a good source of bonding between the team. We lose a lot of seniors at the end of this year, so it is bittersweet to see them go.”
Club Advisor/Co-Coach and Chair of Department of Chemistry Aaron Amick recognizes the hard work the team has endured.
“To do well at a national championship you first need to have put in the needed practice before you get there. Once at the national championships, you need to stay focused and remember that it is one target at a time,” he explained. “ I tell our athletes that if you miss, put it out of your mind and prepare for the next target. You absolutely cannot put to much pressure on yourself, you need to try your best and let the chips fall where they may.”
The Trap and Skeet team continues to improve year in and year out, making Pfaff optimistic for the future. “I couldn’t be more fortunate to work with such a talented group of athletes and students. I can’t wait to see what this program we have built can achieve in the next 10 years.”