Texas A&M University's Brandy Drozd takes Ladies' International Skeet title
San Antonio, Texas - Yesterday's mens and ladies International Skeet finals began as natural light began to fade at the NSSA-NSCA National Shooting Complex in San Antonio.
One by one, the top six men and women from the day's match were called to settle 2013's individual titles. A final round of skeet and shotgun. Well... unless there was a tie.
The team competition was already decided. Lindenwood University, on their way to a tenth consecutive title, won the Division 1 title with a team of three shooters combining for a 280 out of 300.
For the shooters about to fire another round, this was about personal pride. Something every man and woman had to prove to themselves.
Leading the men going into the finals was Lindenwood's Dustin Perry. Perry held a three point lead over second place Tanner McBee of Austin Community College with a 98. On the ladies' side, Texas A&M's Brandy Drozd had edged her way in front of Gayla Gregory with a 91.
Both finals started at the same time. Staged on two separate fields, crowds dispersed to their assigned area while cheering on teammates and friends. With no scoreboards on sight, they diligently watched for every hit and miss as the round progressed. Leads were slim and the shooting was tight. The winner would barely squeak by.
To add to the drama, competitors shot in reverse order of their scores; the top scorers would have to wait until the end. This put Perry and Drozd last in their respective rounds so the title would likely be decided with the last shots.
Both leaders fought to maintain their lead throughout each stations. Perry, with a three point lead, had more of a cushion than Drozd's single point advantage. After completing station 7, with only two shots remaining, it was mathematically impossible for Perry to lose. Finishing with two shots at station 8, Perry was met with a roar from the crowd while teammates and competitors approached with congratulations.
Things were much closer on the ladies side.
With only a point separating first and second place (not to mention second and third), it came down to the last clay at station 8. When she reached station 8 it was Drozd's title to lose. The Aggie showed astounding stoicism, aimed her shotgun and fired. She had the win.
Like Perry, a large crowd of female shotgun shooting fans delivered a huge round of applause. Drozd waved, acknowledged the crowd, and embraced her comrades as the ACUI's 2013 International Skeet Champ.