Area athletes aim high at state trap shooting championship - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Area athletes aim high at state trap shooting championship

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- For the past 25 years, the Cedar Falls Gun Club's hosted the Iowa High School State Trap Shoot.  Over the years the event's grown to about 50 high school teams and a total of around 500 shooters, all of whom hit the range on Saturday.

It's not a typical high school sport, but many shooters aren't your typical high school athletes.

"I get teachers and administrators telling me all the time this is a sport that gets the kids that aren't involved in other things such as ball sports," says DNR Shooting Coordinator Ben Berka.

Like any sport, having a mental edge can be a real advantage, while being prepared and following a few simple guidelines can go a long way.

Maquoketa shooter Jake Clark agrees.  "Keep your equipment clean, focus when you're up there shooting, don't let you mind go anywhere else, and basically have a positive attitude when you're shooting."

Unlike most other sports, these athletes are learning something they can likely do the rest of their lives, and those skills translate very well to other shooting sports.

"It's pretty much like upland game," says individual state champion Cody Mercer of Charles City. "Like pheasants get up from the ground.  You've got to know where to lead them and where to hit them."

While much of the focus on this sport is individual, it still has a very real team feel, and the athletes say that's really the biggest aspect.

"It's very important," says New Hampton's Robbi Marzolf, "Individually we want to shoot good scores, but I think the team part of it is more important to us."

Which is likely why Marzolf and the New Hampton Chickasaws won a state title on Saturday.

Online reporter Mark Woodley

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