Sights Set on a Bright Future

Sights Set on a Bright Future

When you think of sports, you don’t usually think about setting your sights on a target in the distance and then pulling a trigger. This is just what the Buena Vista University clay target sports team has done since the fall of 2022. The team started with only six members last year, and this year it gained four new members. 

Head Coach Luke Zalaznik has been a clay target sports coach for both years. He was asked to be the Buena Vista University trap coach when they decided to start up the program. Previously, he had coached for Storm Lake High School for almost eight years 

“I enjoy working with people that want to learn, whether it be trap or in any other field. One of the things I notice, when work[ing] with the young kids [in] junior high, they want to learn, and when you get into high school, sometimes you get some attitudes and some issues. When you get to college, you’re back to wanting to learn again, so I enjoy that about working with the college students,” said Zalaznik.  

Trap shooting consists of shooting anywhere from one to four rounds or 25-100 shells at a time. During an actual meet, you often shoot four rounds, which is equal to 100 shells. One of the shooters, junior Luke Hatchitt, averages a 23 when he is shooting 25 and an 89 or 90 when he is shooting 100. Hatchitt has been shooting trap for the past two years at Buena Vista University. 

“I shot recreationally growing up. I hunted growing up, so [it’s] kind of already in the same realm. And then BV had the team, so I decided to join,” said Hatchitt. 

Hatchitt continued, “The community is really nice. You face other schools, and they are always really nice, really kind. It’s kind of just like a fun thing to do. The coaches are always there to help. They are very helpful in the trap world and then outside practices and stuff like that—that’s where I met most of my friends.

One of the pressing problems that the team is facing is not having their own range, which is not ideal for continuing to practice shooting. They have to travel to Schaller or Quimby, Iowa, for every practice. They currently practice two times a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, from about 4 to 6 p.m.   

Other problems the program is facing are a lack of finances and shooters. The lack of finances is a pressing problem because they are not currently able to attend many meets since they have to buy shotgun shells and clay pigeons. The students do provide their own guns, though, which are stored by the campus. 

“I just look forward to growing the team. I’m hoping that as enrollment increases, our team will actually grow, and our finances will grow with it, and maybe we can afford to do some more things,” said Zalaznik.  

The clay target sports team will shoot again in the spring of 2024. 

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