Portland State University takes women's title as March Madness pushes ahead at ACUI Clay Target Championships
San Antonio - Thanks to some great shooting during yesterday's Intercollegiate Trap Championships, many of the shooters at the top of the pack were caught in ties. Unfortunately there is only room for six in the final round. So before competitors are allowed to step up and chase the individual title, the pool needs to be narrowed through a session of shoot-offs; sudden death trap shooting.
The shoot-off produced the required six men and women for the final round of trap; the women shooting first and the men second.
The Women's International Trap Finals in San Antonio
When Portland State University's Kate Bonn (the women's leader heading into the finals) took to the line, she was defending a slim one point. At her heels was Miranda Wilder of Schreiner University. Due to the one point deficit, Miranda would shoot first. Just like International Skeet (the match shot earlier), competitors shoot in inverse order of their scores.
Now a trap final is a little easier to follow than skeet. The house fires a single clay ... one at a time. Because Boon was shooting last, that meant she was in control. Unless she experienced a sudden loss of talent during the round, she would secure the win with a final shot.
The women shot true to form. Breaking clay after clay, Bonn and Wilder soon began to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. The champion would either be a Lion or a Viking.
Wilder shot great. Nailing 22 out of 25, she was within reach of the title. Only problem was that Bonn shot a little bit better. Breaking 23 out of 25, Bonn increased her ever so slight lead by one ... winning the match 118 to 116. Now it was time for the boys.
Men's International Trap Finals in San Antonio
The men stepped to the firing line next. They must have paid close attention to the female finals as their round of trap played out much the same. Elliott Toll and Matthew Fuqua, both Lindenwood products, scored perfect 100s during the day. Despite the perfection, their lead over the third place shooter was only one. And for those sitting in fourth through sixth ... two.
Back and forth, clay after clay, bust after bust left both Toll and Fuqua at 22 out of 25. They were able to break away from the pack, leaving the rest a few points behind, but were unable to break away from each other. It was time for one of the most exciting things in shotgun sports; a sudden death tiebreaker.
First one NOT to miss wins.
Stepping back to the line, Toll and Fuqua began. With shotguns at the ready, the two took aim as the crowd watched with baited breath. And watched. And watched. The didn't miss.
The two shooters were perfect. Breaking clay after clay, one after another, the crowd crept ever closer with every shot. You could feel the tension in the air. The two couldn't keep it up forever ... it just seemed like they did. Eventually, one would miss.
It took fourteen rounds.
Thirteen rounds of perfect trap precision before one finally succumbed. Toll, up first, called pull, aimed and fired. Broken clay. Fuqua, next, called pull, aimed and fired. The clay continued onward; shattering once it hit the ground.
It was over. Elliot Toll was top in trap.
Odds are that Fuqua appreciated the fact that at least a Lion won. Both shot exceptionally, both received a hearty congratulations from the team, but only one had prevailed. It was Toll's turn as champ.