SPARTA, Ill. - A total of 21 shooters from the Warren County High School Trap League made the trip to the Scholastic Clay Trap Program (SCTP) National Team Championships held July 14-19 at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta, Illinois.
Warren's Blake Ristau hit 195 out of 200 targets to place third out of 323 shooters in the Junior Varsity Division. Ristau - soon to be a sophomore at Warren Area High School - went a near-perfect 99 out of 100 on the first day of competition.
Weston Uhlenhake of Burlington (Wis.) High School scored a 196 to take gold.
The JV and Varsity divisions are separated by age and level of experience. The Warren County Claybusters took two varsity, two JV, and one intermediate-level team with shooters from Warren, Corry, Tidioute, Eisenhower, and Sheffield.
Ristau and teammates Kyle Traut (157/200), Jarrett Brown (186/200), Michael Zieglar (179/200), and Matthew McDunn (164/200) finished 15th out of 43 JV Division squads.
The county's top varsity team of Michael McDunn (195/200), Brady Carl (186/200), Travis Peterson (185/200), Tyler Brundage (183/200), and Elijah Trawick (190/200) placed 19th out of 107 while a second collection of varsity-level shooters placed 67th. That team consisted of Jacob Grove (168/200), Matthew Brundage (182/200), Luke Gray (188/200), Kelsey Martin (167/200), and James Highhouse (184/200).
McDunn's 195 tied for 22nd out of 631 Varsity Division shooters. The top four each hit 199 out of 200 targets.
The Intermediate Division is for shooters who haven't yet reached high school, and is broken down into advanced and entry-level clubs. Brady Bowen (164/200), Greg Lindsay (148/200), Logan Muir (164/200), Hunter Tasker (174/200), and Hunter Trawick (148/200) placed 30th out of 35 teams at the advanced level.
First-place teams included Maquoketa (Iowa) with a score of 972 out of 1,000 in the Varsity Division, Burlington (Wis.) with 948 in JV, Hoodlum Alley (Iowa) with a 938 in Intermediate-Advanced and Buckeye Chippewa (Ohio) with 923 in Intermediate-Entry.
More than 2,500 participants from 26 states took part in this year's competition.
The SCTP is the largest national youth shot gun program in the United States.