Colusa County youth shooters win big at national competition

The Colusa Ducks pose for a photo with all of the trophies won at the US Open Youth Clay Shooting Championship in Las Vegas, which took place from July 9-14.

When the stakes were the highest, the Colusa County Ducks were up to the task.

Members of the Colusa County Youth Shooting Sports team were recently in Las Vegas for the U.S. Open Youth Clay Shooting Championship, held on July 9-14, and brought home a total of 19 awards.

“It was a solid week of shooting and even the kids that didn’t place individually shot really well to earn squad and team awards,” said head coach Bruce Hardwick.

The U.S. Open Youth Clay Shooting Championship is an annual competition that includes the disciplines of skeet, sporting clays, and trap for youth in 12th grade and below. The event is an opportunity for youth shooting teams and individuals to compete at a national event with competitors from around the country.

Colusa County shooters competed in all three disciplines, and routinely saw their athletes and squads finish at or near the top of their respective divisions. 

Colusa County had two shooters finish in first place in the skeet competition, including Gus Armstrong and Luke Kalfsbeek. Armstrong, competing in the Rookie Division, hit 171 of 200 targets. Kalfsbeek, competing in the Intermediate Entry Division, hit 173 of 200 targets. Colusa County’s Intermediate Entry Squad, composed of Armstrong, Thomas Casillas, and Dustin Worm, took first place in their division. The Ducks also took second place in the High 3 scoring, as their top three shooters across all divisions hit 497 of 600 targets.

In the Sporting Clays discipline, Colusa County had five shooters reach the podium in four different divisions. Gus Armstrong had an even stronger showing in Sporting Clays than he did in Skeet, hitting 92 of 100 targets for a first-place finish in the Rookie Division. Luke Kalfsbeek took first place in the Intermediate Entry Division, hitting 87 of 100 targets, while Thomas Casillas hit 84 of 100 targets, good for third place. Chase Carrere earned a blue ribbon in the Intermediate Advanced Division, hitting 90 of 100 targets, and Blake Kalfsbeek took first in the Junior Varsity Division by hitting 94 of 100. In addition to the individual accolades, the Ducks’ Intermediate Entry and Intermediate Advanced squads finished in first place, their Junior Varsity squad finished in third, and the team finished second in the overall High 3 standings.

In Trap, Gus Armstrong earned another first place finish in the Rookie Division, hitting 191 of 200 targets. Gus Doherty hit 197 of 200 targets, good for second place in the Intermediate Advanced Division.  Colusa County’s Rookie Squad took second place, both of their intermediate squads took first place, and the team topped the High 5 standings.

The Colusa Ducks will begin Sporting Clay season in August, and next year’s trap season will start in December.  Anyone interested in joining or supporting the team can call Bruce Hardwick at (530) 701-4051.ν

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.