The Hudson Raiders Shooting Team traveled to Marengo, Ohio July 13-20 to participate in the 2019 National Championships in both clay target and speed action shooting events. Seven Raiders went to Ohio for the entire week of competition with a total of 20 trap shooters participating by the end of the week.
The Scholastic Action Shooting Program (SASP) at Nationals saw 1,650 competitors from 65 teams representing 20 states, making it the largest action shooting match in history. Seven Raiders participated in the SASP events at nationals to include .22 rimfire pistol, .22 optic rifle, .22 iron sight rifle, .22 pistol caliber carbine and 1911 pistol. Shooters competed in a variety of timed events, shooting at round or rectangular plates set up in a variety of courses. The varsity squad, consisting of Brandon Armstrong, Trevor Cochrane, Caitlin Cravens, and Jordan Persinger placed seventh in iron rifle and eighth in optic rifle.
The Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) also hosted the largest event on record with over 2,300 competitors in skeet, skeet doubles, trap, trap doubles, handicap trap, sporting clays, and bunker trap. Over 240 teams from 30 states showed up to shoot at almost two million targets that were thrown for competition, practice and side games. With that much competition, placing in the top ten is quite a feat. In the ladies intermediate/advanced division, Lauren Kern came in ninth in 16-yard trap with a score of 183 out of 200.
Posting perfect, 25/25 rounds in 16-yard trap were Armstrong, Alexander Giebler, Kern, Gabriel Stolz and Colin Thorpe. In skeet, Persinger shot 50 straight and had another perfect 25 straight round for a total of 184/200. Armstrong posted two perfect 25 straight rounds in skeet, shooting a total of 189/200. Armstrong and Persinger also had one round each of 49/50 in doubles trap.
One of the most popular side matches at Nationals was the Last Competitor Standing Competition (also known as the "Annie Oakley"), an elimination-style shoulder to shoulder competition. Persinger outlasted over 400 other competitors to take fifth place and was awarded two cases of shotshells and a leather shooting pouch for his efforts.
Another side match was the 2019 CZ Top Gun Challenge which tallied points from clay target and pistol/rifle events to include 16-yard trap, skeet, sporting clays, rifle (iron, optics or pistol caliber carbine), centerfire or rimfire pistol and 1911/2011 pistol. This side event was designed to recognize the commitment and stamina the athletes show by competing in so many events over the course of the week at nationals. Four Raider shooters qualified to participate in this event with Armstrong placing 13th, Cochrane 20th, Persinger 25th and Cravens 26th.
Finally, four Raiders were recognized at nationals for qualifying to be on the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSSF) All-Scholastic Team. The All-Scholastic Team recognizes student athletes in the shooting sports for their accomplishments in the classroom, in their communities and on the range. A 3.0 GPA is required as well as stringent match qualifications in each shooting discipline and two letters of recommendation. This year, Armstrong qualified in trap, pistol and rifle, Cravens qualified in trap and rifle, Persinger qualified in trap, skeet, pistol and rifle and Kiera Wood qualified in trap.