By Kyle Jillson | March 29 2013 17:43

Competition and weather heat up in San Antonio during International Trap Championships

Competitor at the ACUI Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio, Texas - Shooters at the ACUI Clay Target Championships changed up sports today, putting skeet on hold until tomorrow and moved to the International Trap Championship.

International Trap, like International Skeet, is considered more difficult than its domestic cousin. International shooting events in general are tailored to be more of a challenge than their domestic versions.

Known by many names - bunker trap, Olympic trap, trench, international clay pigeon - International Trap differs from American Trap (which will be shot Sunday) in a few key ways:

Competitors talk at the ACUI Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas

First off, there are a lot more traps. Instead of the normal single trap throwing clays, International Trap features 15 of them; three for each position on the field and all aimed in different directions.

Clay targets used in International Trap are thrown fast. Going roughly twice as fast as in American Trap, these targets fly at about 90 mph. Not only that, but they're also thrown about twice as far, reaching 70 to 75 meters from the bunker.

Aside from being speedier and traveling twice the distance, International Trap targets have a lot more variance in height and angle. American Trap targets are thrown anywhere within a 45 degree angle from the traphouse and at a set height. It can't be that easy in International though, oh no. International clays are increased to being thrown within a 90 degree angle and their height can be anywhere from one to three meters above the traphouse.

International Trap field at the ACUI Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas

Don't forget that you need to have a lighter load in your shell, dropping from 1 1/8 oz. to 7/8 oz. This means fewer pellets flying at the clay. But not to be without some mercy, International Trap rules allow two shots at every target in case (or when) you miss.

And to top it all off. When you shoot your lightened load at targets going faster, further, higher, from more places and in more directions, they're going to be harder to break. That's because the targets are made flatter and harder to be durable enough to handle the forces they're thrown at. As a result, the sport is made even tougher for you, the shooter - have fun.

Oh yeah, and you're going to shoot four 25-target rounds.

George Mason University Competitor at the ACUI Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas

The sky was clearer today over the at the NSSA-NSCA National Shooting Complex. It wasn't by much, but it was enough. A little sun, a little less wind and a little more heat made shooting conditions much more favorable for shooters, the fact that they already had enough on their plate with International Trap notwithstanding.

Continuing to barrel towards their tenth consecutive win, Lindenwood University's team #1 finished at the top of the pack today with a 295, 13 points ahead of second place Bethel University's Wildacats 2 team.

In the individual race, shoot-offs are currently being held to trim down the list of competitors advancing to this evening's finals.

University of Missouri shooter at the ACUI Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas

Miraculously, Lindenwood shooters Mathew Fuqua and Elliott Toll managed to score perfect 100s, but aside from facing off against each other, they'll be competing against a 99 and a slew of 98s.

Kate Bonn of Portland State University has the sole lead for the women's title with a 95 but, like her male counterparts, is ahead of the other finalists by only a point or two.

It's going to be another close match as new shooters defend their leads. Will their names remain at the top of the final standings? We'll find out.

University of Louisiana-Lafayette shooter at the ACUI Clay Target Championships in San Antonio, Texas


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