For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Wackershauser, Marketing Specialist
Mail: 1800 Bronson Blvd., Fennimore, WI 53809
Date of Release: November 30, 2022
Clay target team building dynasty with championshipsFennimore -
The Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Clay Target Team completed its best fall seasons in its relatively short history. The team won the USA College Clay Target League national championship for the second consecutive year and it also won the MCAC (Minnesota College Athletic Conference) championship. The team finished second during the regular season in the MCAC.
USA Clay Target League
This fall, the team swept the USA Clay Target League, winning the regular season large school division. The division assignment is based on the number of participants, not the size of the school. The team also won the end of the year tournament, which was a virtual event, where the Southwest Tech athletes participated from the Muscoda Sportsman’s Club, their home club.
The USA championship was a one-day shoot and the top five scores were counted. “We shot a 491 out of a possible 500, which is an exceptional score,” said Dan Imhoff, co-coach and executive director of facilities at Southwest Tech.
The competitors can shoot any day during the week of the tournament. The Southwest Tech team competed early in the week. “We had to sit for a week and wait to see where our scores came in at,” said Imhoff. “We knew we had a good score, but we knew the competition has been getting better.”
“We’re seeing scores that would have won events two and three years ago, they’re not going to place top five,” added Imhoff. “Every team around is elevating their game.”
Southwest Tech participants had scores of 100, 99, two 98s and a 96. There were also four other 96s that day.
This fall, the team took second place during the regular season in the large school division. On Oct. 18, 20 members of the team, along with the coaches, traveled to Alexandria, Minnesota on for the MCAC Championship. At that event, the Chargers won the championship, defeating Alexandria, who had taken first place during the regular season. It was the first time Southwest Tech had won the MCAC Championship. “Everyone was pretty excited,” said Matt Schneider, co-coach and advisor at Southwest Tech.
Last spring, Southwest Tech hosted a high school clay target event and both Schneider and Imhoff knew that talented students from that event would be enrolling this fall. “We were excited last spring knowing how good we could be this fall,” said Schneider. “We also knew every other college seems to be getting better as well.
Imhoff and Schneider have built the team over more than six years and have found success. It has come with hard work from them, as well as from their student-athletes. Schneider noted that during the first season maybe two students had high school trapshooting or clay target experience and now a majority of the team has experience. “I never thought we’d be in this spot,” said Schneider. “Our goal was to grow the team, get better, be competitive and see where it led. It went above and beyond what my expectations were.”
New to the team this year was co-coach Mia Hillebrand, from Spring Green, Wisconsin. She graduated from Southwest Tech in the spring with a degree from the Agribusiness – Animal Science program. She has been involved with trapshooting/clay target since she was 12 years old.
Hillebrand participated in the sport throughout high school, and then during her time at Southwest Tech. Her competitive experience at Southwest Tech was altered because of COVID, so she was excited to have the opportunity to continue with the team this season as a coach. “I was extremely excited,” she said. “I have a passion for inspiring youth outside of their learning environment.”
Looking back on the season, Hillebrand enjoyed seeing the relationships that were built between students from different programs. “Cosmo students were talking to welding students and to ag students, and that’s something you don’t see every day,” she said. “It was really cool to see as a coach.”
Hillebrand currently works as a meat inspector with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
This year’s team includes 27 members – nine females and 18 males. Imhoff and Schneider formed the team in the spring of 2016. Since then, the team has made steady growth, culminating in championships the previous two season. “This team was very open to coaching,” said Imhoff “This was a great group of athletes. I really enjoyed having this team.”
The season consists of two practice weeks and then a five-week regular season. followed by the tournament shoots.
As for the future, it’s all about access. “We want to keep giving these kids an opportunity to do the sport they love,” said Imhoff.
“We take pride in working with our students and making sure they are doing the education side of it as well,” added Imhoff. “We check in on them as well to make sure they aren’t having a tough day.”
Even though trapshooting and clay target has grown in popularity, especially, among high school students, Southwest Tech remains the lone college in Wisconsin with a sanctioned athletic team.
Imhoff and Schneider remain directors of the Wisconsin State High School Clay Target League. Southwest Tech will be hosting the 2023 High School Trapshoot Invite on Saturday, May 6. Information is available at swtc.edu/trapshoot.
High Gun – Novice Female – 5th place (overall 11th) – Emily Dolphin, Cuba City – Total score 44
High Gun – Jr. Varsity Female – 4th place (overall T25th) – Alexis Forbes, Barneveld – Total score 70
High Gun – Varsity Male – 1st place (overall 1st) – Hunter Knotwell, Lancaster – Total score 99
- T7th place (overall T7th) – John Schweiger, Hillsboro – Total score 96
- T7th place (overall T7th) – Noah Wagner, Boscobel – Total score 96
- T20th place (overall T20th) – Kaeden Chellevold, Gays Mills – Total score 93
- T28th place (overall T29th) – Matthew Morris, Hillsboro – Total score 92
- T39th place (overall T43rd) – Allen Foege, Reedsburg – Total score 91
- T47th place (overall T51st) – Texas Gollnick, Rockland – Total score 90
- T47th place (overall T51st) – Garrett Russell, Boscobel – Total score 90
- T96th place (overall T105th) – Connor Albrent, Mount Horeb – Total score 85
- T96th place (overall T105th) – Ethan Hillebrand, Lone Rock – Total score 85
- T121st place (overall T134th) – Zachary McAlister, Ridgeway – Total score 82
- T132nd place (overall T148th) – Austin Nimtz, Monticello – Total score 81
- T141st place (overall T159th) – River Laack, Wisconsin Rapids – Total score 80
- 167th place (overall 193rd) – Noah Weaver, Darlington– Total score 72
- T169th place (overall 195th) – William Callahan, Woodman – Total score 69
High Gun – Varsity Female – T2nd place (overall T29th) – Kennedy Allendorf, Shullsburg – Total score 92
- T7th place (overall T84th) – Chloe Gillmore, Cazenozia – Total score 87
- T21st (overall T170th) – Sara Wetter, Fennimore – Total score 78
Team – Southwest Tech – 476; Alexandria Technical and Community College – 474; and Bismark State College – 470 (Top 3 out of 16)
USA Clay Target National Championship
High Gun – Novice Female and Novice Overall – 1st place – Emily Dolphin – Total score 71
High Gun – Jr. Varsity Male – T16th – Zach Zimmer, Glen Haven – Total score 62
High Gun – Jr. Varsity Female – 2nd place – Alexis Forbes – Total score 77, reverse run 12
- T4th place – Abbie Edgington, Cobb – Total score 73, reverse run 1
- T4th place – Sara Wetter – Total score 73
High Gun – Jr. Varsity Overall – Alexis Forbes – Total score 77
- T17th – Abbie Edgington – Total score 73
- T17th – Sara Wetter – Total score 73
- T21st – Zach Zimmer – Total score 62
High Gun – Varsity Male – T1st place (overall T1st) – Greg Miller, Muscoda – Total score 100, reverse run 100
- T4th place (overall T4th) – John Schweiger – Total score 99
- T6th place (overall T6th) – Noah Wagner – Total score 98
- T6th place (overall T6th) – Hunter Knotwell – Total score 98
- T19th place (overall T12st) – Matthew Morris – Total score 96
- T19th place (overall T21st) – Ethan Hillebrand – Total score 96
- T19th place (overall T21st) – Allen Foege – Total score 96
- T19th place (overall T21st) – Texas Gollnick – Total score 96
- T38th place (overall T45th) – River Laack – Total score 94
- T44th place (overall T53rd) – Michael Kruser – Total score 92
- T56 place (overall T66th) – Garrett Russell – Total score 91
- T63rd place (overall T74th) – Kaeden Chellevold – Total score 90
- T67th place (overall T81st) – Connor Albrent – Total score 89
- T90th place (overall T109th) – Austin Nimtz – Total score 85
- T90th place (overall T109th) – Noah Weaver – Total score 85
- T105th place (overall T129th) – William Callahan – Total score 82
High Gun – Varsity Female – T4th place (overall T21st) – Kennedy Allendorf – Total score 96, reverse run 41
Team: Southwest Tech – 491; Lake Superior College (Minn.) – 488; Itasca Community College (Minn.) – 481 (Top 3 out of 15)
• To learn more about the clay target team or other Southwest Tech athletics, check out www.swtc.edu/athletics.
| Southwest Wisconsin Technical College, a finalist for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, is one of 16 institutions that comprise the Wisconsin Technical College System. Southwest Tech offers more than 60 programs in a wide variety of disciplines. Courses are offered on campus, online, HyFlex and in a blended format. The college provides apprenticeship, certificate, technical diploma, and associate degree programs that respond to district workforce needs and prepare student for family-sustaining jobs and career advancement. |