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TRAP SHOOTING

Del Oro athlete scores a perfect 100 at Coon Creek

Coon Creek right behind
By: Roxie Rice/Courtesy
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Del Oro High School’s Clay Thomas shot 100 out of 100 clay targets for a perfect score in the second series tournament of the California Youth Shooting Sports Association (CYSSA) held at Coon Creek Trap and Skeet Club in Lincoln recently. Thomas is a junior.

When Clay Thomas’ mother, Kristin, named her newborn son Clay, she was not prepared for the synchronicity to follow.

“I had no idea of the way the name Clay would play out in his life,” she said.

There were 260 school-age shooters at Coon Creek with another 400 CYSSA shooters spread between Auburn and Martinez. That made Thomas the best of 660 shooters on the day.

“This was his first perfect score in competition despite being the 2012 JV U.S. Open Champion in Las Vegas last July with a score of 197 out of 200 over two days,” a beaming Kristin Thomas said. “Although he’s had a lot of experience with shooting and guns, this is only his second year in trapshooting and we couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments.”

Del Oro coach Fred Jenson, who himself was a champion in the Jr. shooting division in the 1970s, came to the Del Oro team in 2007, a year after its inception.

“In those days, there were 15-20 shooters in the entire shoot. Now there are 57 competitors just on the Del Oro team.” Jenson said. “I’m thrilled at the way the sport has grown. The kids love it and the families love it. Everyone out here, regardless of team affiliation, is part of a giant family.”

Aiming to secure the Coon Creek varsity second-place spot behind Thomas were four shooters tied at 98 on the day, forcing a suspenseful head-to-head sudden-death shootout match.

After the first shootout round, three shooters were left but another quickly dropped out early in round two.

Remaining was Tori Rothman, a 5-foot sophomore at Oakmont High in Roseville and member of Team Coon Creek, going up against Truckee High’s Jon Friesen for second place.

By the end of round two, Rothman had blasted her way into second after shooting two perfect rounds against Friesen’s 49-of-50 clays.  Rothman’s five years of experience with Lincoln-based Coon Creek Club proved she was adept under fire in a typically male-dominated sport.

Claiming third place behind Thomas and Rothman, Friesen was happy to have placed.

“The competition was tough,” he said. “This is my last year so I really wanted to take one home for Truckee.”