Clay Shooting National Championship Returns to Sparta


By Nick Hausen

SPARTA -- It's a busy week at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta as more than 2,000 young skeet and trap shooters compete in the Scholastic Clay Target National Team Championships.

Shooters, from grades fourth and fifth, all the way through college are competing for a national championship in team trap and clay target shooting.

"This is the little league world series if you will," explained tournament director Tom Wondrash, "They come out here and they're competing in different divisions."

Wondrash says the national championship gets bigger every year. This year, shooters from 26 states will compete, and for the first time ever, the campgrounds are completely full.

One of those out-of-state competitors is 11-year-old Victor Cordova from Phoenix, Ariz.

"Not many people get to do it,"said Cordova. "And it's pretty cool to have a kid this young shooting."

Cordova hit a perfect 25 targets Monday afternoon while competing in the rookie division. His grandpa introduced him to the sport , and Cordova says there's nothing quite like it.

"Sometimes you get really anxious and it's a great feeling," he explained.

From the 11-year-olds like Cordova, to the college-aged competitors, the thrill remains the same.

The Scholastic Clay Target Team Championships runs through Friday at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta. Teams competing must have participated in their state championship to qualify.

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