by Bethany Spencer
Scholastic Clay Target Program Nationals marked the closing of post-season competition for Pella Christian’s trap shooting team. Three of the team’s shooters participated: 2017 graduate Emma Van Donselaar, senior Colten Uitermarkt, and sophomore Maclane Heinen.
The squad was awarded first place in both Skeet and Doubles Skeet. They were also honored with third place in the Sporting Clay category. “Walking up to the stage to get the first place trophy will be a moment that I will never forget,” said Heinen.
Held in July at the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, Ohio, the experience provided opportunities for shooters to connect with like-minded teens. “Best part of Nationals was getting to talk to other shooters from Iowa and coming together as a state. It was awesome representing Iowa on the Iowa All State Team,” said Uitermarkt.
Much effort and dedication is required to succeed at this level of competition. “Practice makes perfect,” said Uitermarkt.
Heinen agreed. “A lot of practice time was put in. We would practice 4 nights a week while the rest of the team would only practice one,” he said.
Just as with any other competition, there were negative parts of Nationals, including rain for most of the event. The course was also quite difficult. “If one of our shooters succeeded at a station, another would fail. This was an ongoing process the entire sporting clay competition,” said Uitermarkt.
The squad agrees that overall the competition was a great experience. “If you are on the trap shooting team I encourage you to go,” said Heinen.