More than 80 youth trap shooters returned home in August with championships and high honors under their belts from the AIM Grand National Youth Trap Shooting Championship and 123rd Grand American World Trapshooting Championship.
In association with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program, they traveled to the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta, Illinois, perhaps the largest shooting complex in the world. AIM (Academics, Integrity, and Marksmanship) is the youth division of the Amateur Trapshooting Association.
The two championships lasted 16 days, and the categories were Pre-Sub, Sub-Junior, Junior AA and Junior Gold (age 18-21). Shooters connected to the AYSSP won 28 trophies, 22 as individuals and six as teams.
Jasa Reed, a shooter from Paragould who competed as part of the Black River Trap and Skeet Club, won the champion title in the the Junior Gold Singles B Class and Junior Gold Singles Lady category, hitting 199 out of 200 targets in the last two days of shooting. William Mahan from Harrisburg, similarly, won runner-up in the Sub-Junior AAA category by hitting 198 out of 200 targets.
Teams from Arkansas performed very well, with first, second and third places in the Junior AA class going to Harrisburg, Jonesboro and the Craighead Claycrushers respectively. The Black River Trap and Skeet Club came in third overall for Pre-Sub, the Craighead Claycrushers were third overall for Sub-Junior and Black River’s college-aged shooters came in second place for the Junior Gold category. The Harrisburg team took first place in Junior Class AA.
Jim Clifton, who oversees the Black River Trap and Skeet Club, said “AYSSP is a great starter program. If it wasn’t for it, the kids wouldn’t be shooting. My daughter (Katie Clifton), this is the first year she hasn’t gone to Sparta since 2014, she couldn’t fit it into her schedule. She’s a pre-vet major at Mississippi State and works very hard to keep her grades up to stay in the program, so she couldn’t go. But while she was shooting, she received around $12,500 in scholarships for trap-shooting.”