UJ shooting sports team places well at national tourney | #sports | #elderly | #seniors
The UJ shooting sports team competed at its first-ever national tournament last weekend. The Jimmies had nine shooters compete at the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Collegiate Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas.
“For it being our first time down there they did really well,” head coach John Mazur said. “I guess I didn’t really know what to expect. We did shoot in one tournament in the fall and it went well but this one was our biggest one and it was exciting to see them do as well as they did.”
The ACUI hosted 45 teams and more than 500 shooters shooting in four different events — American Trap, American Skeet, Sporting Clays and Super Sporting Clays. Shooters were divided into three tiers — A, B and C — based on previous scores. Teams were divided into divisions based on team size. The Jimmies fell into Division 4.
The Jimmie team might have been small in numbers but the UJ squad did not travel more than 1,300 miles to give anything but their best out on the range.
Jarek Berger placed third in the Division 4, Class B Super Sporting Clays. The Jimmies best team finish came in American Trap where they placed sixth out of 14 competing Division 4 teams. The team also managed to crack into the top-10 in the American Skeet and Super Sporting Clays contests.
Freshman Ethan Oswald placed seventh in Class B American Trap and team captain Christian Koefod finished in the top-10 in the American Skeet competition. Mazur said Oswald will likely be moved up a class next year based on his scores at the range.
“To be honest, there were a lot of personal records shot down there,” Mazur said. “They actually did better in the competition than they do at practice. They really welcomed the pressure and I think it made them shoot even better.”
Mason Wheelock thrived under the pressure and ended up placing second in Class B Trap. The freshman out of Horace, North Dakota, shot 99 out of 100 targets and wound up in second place on a technicality.
“Technically with his score, he tied for first-place but they took the longest run — shooting consistently without missing,” Mazur said. “He missed one bird kind of in the middle there, whereas the other kid missed the target in his very first round, but (Wheelock) shot really well. It seemed like he couldn’t miss.”
The Jimmies don’t intend on missing another ACUI National Tournament. Mazur will lose two seniors to graduation but already has four commits planning on attending UJ in the fall. The head coach said he is regularly communicating with potential team members and will do more recruiting over the summer to help grow the team.
“We’re established now,” Mazur said. “We’ll be there again next year.”