It was a test of endurance, patience, and positive attitudes - it was the USA Shooting Trap National Championships back-to-back with the USA Shooting Junior Olympic Trap Championships in Colorado Springs. This was the test that the SCTP National Team has been “studying” for all year and the Trap Team was first in the blocks.
In spite of lightning, rain, wind, dust, cold, heat, and long days (30 squads of competitors) the determination and resilience of these athletes shone through. The first week saw Matt Wells (WI) battle his way to a Junior Men’s silver medal at the USA Shooting National Championships, earning a spot on the Junior National Team. Wells will now trade his SCTP National Team vest for a USA Shooting Junior Team vest.
“I have trained very hard to get this vest and position on the National Junior Team but my work as a competitive athlete is not done. I definitely think that being on the SCTP Team has helped me grow as a shooter. I would like to thank SCTP for the opportunity they have given me. I am excited to continue my journey on the Junior National Team,” Wells stated.
15-year-old Emilio Carvalho (CA) lead the way during the second week of competition at the Junior Olympic Championships, claiming the top of the leaderboard the very first day. But not far behind Carvalho was his teammate Matt Wells again. When both Carvalho and Wells collected their bib numbers for the final, Carvalho was still in the number 1 spot and Wells was in number 4.
When the dust finally settled, Wells remained in fourth place while Carvalho did not relinquish his lead until nearly the end of the finals round, when he finished in third place. His bronze medal podium finish places him on the USA Shooting Junior Squad, meaning that Carvalho will also trade his SCTP National Team vest for a USA Shooting vest.
“The SCTP camps and the mental training exposed me to new insights about the game. I feel grateful about my success and the opportunity that SCTP has provided to me to pursue my Olympic dreams. Thank you for an amazing year SCTP National Team!” beamed Carvalho.
Coach Terri DeWitt said with a laugh, “I’ve been out here so long, I don’t even know what day it is anymore.” She continued, “But I do know this - without exception, these trap athletes performed beyond expectations. They should be proud of themselves - they came out here prepared; they came out here with a mission and they gave 100% effort to that mission. I’m extremely proud of the efforts put forth by this team, not only on the firing line, but behind the line as well. They were there for each other during these two long weeks, truly coming together as a team. I could not be prouder of these young adults,” she smiled.
Next up are the Skeet events: USA Shooting National Skeet Championships, June 16th- June 19th and USA Shooting Junior Olympic Skeet Championships, June 22nd – 23rd.