The Simpson College Shooting Sports Club is aiming very high.
In its first year of competition, the club won the 2017 Association of College Unions International’s Division IV Trap Championship, and finished second in the Division IV High Over All (HOA).
In addition, Simpson team member Tom Miller won the individual Division IV B Class ACUI National Trap Championship.
Congratulations to Miller, as well as Simpson students Cole Tramp, Patrick Long-Quinn, Monica Dale, Maddy Bernau and Coach Scott Moniot. The 2017 ACUI National Championship events were held March 28-April 2 in San Antonio.
The competition attracted 820 athletes representing 85 colleges and universities. This was the first year for Division IV, and 10 schools competed, including Simpson.
Despite Simpson competing for the first time, Moniot said he wasn’t surprised by how well club members performed.
“I knew they had the ability, but being the first trip to the big dance, you never know how kids will handle the pressure,” he said. “They were very excited, and they certainly stepped up to the line and knocked down target after target in trap events.”
The National Championship International Trap shooting team consisted of Miller, Bernau and Dale. Their score of 286 was 1 target better than the rest of the competition, securing Simpson College’s first National title in the ACUI Clay Target Championships.
Miller was the team’s senior leader this year and he finished the last day of competition in style. Miller shot a personal best of 98 in trap, and then followed that with a perfect 25-straight in the shoot off to the individual title.
Moniot said he was more proud of the way the Simpson students conducted themselves than in their team awards. Several ACUI officials and other college representatives complimented the team’s demeanor and performances.
“While competing during the Sporting Clays event, our team was pulled aside by a station referee and praised for our team attitude and demeanor,” Moniot said. “She stated that we were the first college team that she has ever said this to and she has been working this event for years.”
In another instance, a scoring error pushed Simpson from third to fourth place in the Sporting Clay competition. Without complaint, the club members turned their medals and trophy over to the rightful third place team.
“Performance is based on your wins and loses and only measures your talent at that moment in time and is quickly forgotten,” Coach Moniot said. “Character, sportsmanship and integrity are building blocks that can shape and mold every moment and circumstance of life – and not so quickly forgotten.”
Moniot expects more success next year, when the club is expected to grow to 15 or more members, and continue to grow in future years. Simpson recently signed two future club members from Ankeny High School.
“The Simpson College Shooting Sports Club had a great first year as a newly formed competition team, and we are working hard to build our program for next year,” Moniot said.
They’re certainly off to a great start.