Sports Zone

Young shooters take aim at Junior Clay Target Championships

CHS senior Cali Allen competes in trap shooting during the Junior Clay Target Championships. Allen placed third in the Ladies division in the event. GINI DAVIS/THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE

High school and middle school athletes competed in trap and skeet shooting during the 2018 Oregon Junior Clay Target Championships, hosted by Creswell Clay Target Sports on May 26-27.
Local area competitors included Creswell High School senior Cali Allen, Cottage Grove High School sophomore Seth Portusach, Cottage Grove eighth grader Brent Perry and Thurston sophomore Chase Parker.
For Allen, a three-sport athlete who will compete in track and field at Mt. Hood Community College next year, it was her first competitive shooting outing of the season.
”I’ve had other sports going on, and going to state, so I haven’t had a lot of time to shoot,” Allen said. ”But I’m looking forward to it.”
Portusach and Perry both said winning is one of their favorite aspects of competitive shooting. That and ”seeing a lot of different folks across Oregon,” Portusach added.
Competition divisions included Rookies (first-year shooters), Juniors (sixth through eighth grade), Seniors (high school) and Ladies (girls could compete here, or in their general experience/grade level division).
The top three trap and skeet scorers in each division received prizes.
In trap, winners were Rookies Zane Fredenberg (90), Portusach (78) and Colton McMaster (76); Ladies Punky Gibson (81), Lila Ferguson (76) and Allen (72); Juniors Perry (95), Charlie Williams (82) and Hagen Rariden (65); and Seniors Elias Tollefson (98), Tanner Crawford (96) and Dalton Wilcox (95).
In skeet, winners were Rookies Zion Pittman (86), Mason Grauer (80) and Fredenberg (75); Ladies Chase Parker (81), Ferguson (75) and Gibson (40); Juniors Matthew Poole (85), Williams (78) and Rariden (46); and Seniors Lonnie Dillard (96), Wilcox (96) and Justin Lund (95).
Once competition ended, there were games, raffles and silent auction items to browse.
Youth shooting teams practice and compete year-round, and shooters can also choose to enter regional and national events, said Jenny Merrell, president of the Oregon Scholastic Clay Target Program, which introduces shooting sports to elementary through college students and provides young shooters an opportunity to compete on teams.
”As a coach, I enjoy introducing youth to a competitive sport that they can continue to enjoy their entire life,” said Creswell Clay Target Sports secretary and coach, Dave Abel.
The Junior Championships’ main sponsor was Midway USA. Other sponsors included the NRA Foundation, Kick-EEZ, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Coastal.
”Grover’s Gunners – the youth club of Creswell Clay Target Sports – was happy to host this Championship,” Abel said. ”It brought 39 student athletes, their coaches, parents, supporters and fans from around Oregon to enjoy the food and hospitality of the Creswell area as well as the clay target competition.”



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