The Southwestern Community College sports shooting team competed at the 2018 ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Championships from March 26-April 1, 2018, in San Antonio, TX. The Spartans came home with a national champion in Kyle Redinbaugh and a wealth of other honors.
Redinbaugh, freshman from Atlantic, was named the 2018 ACUI Class C National Champion in International Trap. He captured the event by winning a "sudden death" shoot-off against Hayden Dempsey of Georgia College. The shoot-off started on station one and would continue until someone missed. Both shooters shot identical targets. The Georgia College shooter missed his first target and Redinbaugh stepped up and crushed his, giving the Spartan shooter the victory.
About an hour later Redinbaugh found himself in another shoot off. This time in Class C, American Skeet. Redinbaugh was tied for third place with Dayton Bennet from Missouri University of Science and Technology. The Missouri University shooter did not show for the shoot off, giving Redinbaugh the third place trophy. In true Spartan sports shooting fashion, Redinbaugh insisted on shooting the required pair anyway. He broke them both, bringing a loud roar from the crowd.
Redinbaugh was also Southwestern's highest scoring shooter in the High Overall category. High Overall is calculated by adding the scores of all six events: American Trap, American Skeet, International Trap, International Skeet, Sporting Clays, and Super Sporting Clays.
Other notable performances by the Spartans:
- Hunter Albers, sophomore of Indianola, won a $500 scholarship by winning the NRA Daily Scholarship Shoot-Off. A random score is selected and anyone shooting that score in any event is selected for this shoot-off. There were 20 participants split in a men's and women's division. The shoot-off was in American Skeet. A high house pair and a low house pair from station three. Albers was the only one to shoot a perfect score. According to Spartan Head Coach Marc Roberg, Albers had worked on this style of shoot-off after losing an identical shoot-off in Nebraska for third place and his hard work paid off.
- Jessica Aupperle, sophomore of Wiota, shot her way to the semi-finals of the Flurry for Funds. Aupperle and teammate Sydney McElfish, sophomore of Greenfield, finished in the top five teams for the women's flurry event. These 10 women then shot off as individuals and the top four advanced to the Saturday night semifinals. Roberg said the shoot-off was two pairs in a very difficult super sporting clays format. It was done in the stadium in front of hundreds of spectators. Aupperle was one of several women to tie for the top four. To cut the shooters down to four, they threw one very difficult pair to each shooter. Aupperle hit both targets to advance to the Saturday night semis. She was eliminated in the first round hitting one target. Roberg said she did a great job in a difficult event.
- Blake Binns, freshman of Winterset, shot a 96 in American Trap to lead Southwestern. That was good enough for sixth place in Class B.
- Aupperle was 12th in Class C, American Trap with an 87.
- McElfish finished 15th in Class B, International Trap with an 84.
Roberg said he was proud of the way his team competed even though they did not place as a team.
"We had some strong individual performances," Roberg explained. "We did not shoot particularly well as a team, but taking into account this was our first attempt at the international events and not having practiced them or the sporting and super sporting clays events, I think we did pretty well."
Overall, the team ended up about where they were last year, sixth in American Skeet, seventh in American Trap, sixth in International Skeet, sixth in International Trap (one bird out of a tie for fourth), seventh in Super Sporting Clays, and eighth in Sporting Clays. The Spartans ended up with a total score of 1990, good enough for sixth place in the High Overall in Division 4.
The Spartan team consisted of Albers; Aupperle; Mallory Bell, freshman of Colfax; Binns; Dakota Burgmaier, freshman of Creston; Makayla Flora, freshman of Adel; Gabriel Gard, freshman of Murray; Cole Harder, sophomore of Hancock; Jacob Hemsworth, freshman of Creston; Sydney McElfish, sophomore of Greenfield; Redinbaugh; Dalton Smith, freshman of Prole; and Tom Steinbach, freshman of Creston.