CEDAR FALLS — Mother Nature is trying her best to dampen the spirits of the shooters who have poured onto the State Association Grounds for the 143rd Iowa State Trapshoot this week.
The heavy rains that pummeled the grounds on Wednesday and Thursday and then gave way to extreme humidity only brought the best out of the 800 shooters who had participated through Thursday.
“We had about a two-hour delay today with the rain and lightning,” said ISTA president Steve Glasgow. “We had a delay yesterday, as well, but these guys have done a great job making up time. Our numbers are down by just a little bit and part of that could be because of the heat. We had 400 shoot yesterday and another 425 today. They will pick up when the weekend gets here.”
The weather had no effect on Kinsey Bruggemeyer of Mount Pleasant as she took top gun honors from the top 10 shooters who participated in the White Flyer $1,000 shootout.
To qualify, a shooter must participate in two of the three events scheduled and then have their name put in a lottery to be drawn. Bruggemeyer was chosen and the first time state sharpshooter was excited to prove she belonged.
“I have been here as a high school shooter for the last four years and this is my first time on my own,” said Bruggemeyer. “There is less pressure here because you don’t have to feel like you may let your team down. I just went out and shot normal.
“When my name was drawn I did get a little excited and thought that I could do this and win. I shot 10 out of 10 and it was good enough to win the money.”
The top shooter took home $500, second place grabbed $300 and third took the balance of $200.
Kinsey’s decision for her money came as quick as her draw on the line with her Browning Citori XT.
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“I am going to use this money to put towards college,” said Bruggemeyer. “I have been shooting since I was 13 and now it is paying off a little, so I wanted to start saving for college.
“I do shoot my targets quickly out of the box and I really don’t know why, I just always have. It is fun to come here and shoot at this level and meet so many new people and good shooters.”
Meeting new people is one reason that Texico, Ill., shooter, Ziggy Tkaczenko has made the 7 1/2-hour drive to Cedar Falls since 2010.
“I started shooting in 2009 and got hooked,” said Tkaczenko. “I registered in 2010 and have been coming here ever since. I love this facility, the people and nights at beer camp. I’ve always shot well here and I have never shot standing up.”
Tkaczenko was injured in Germany during his military years and has been confined to a wheelchair. He prides himself in the accomplishments he has gained.
“I have won quite a few awards here and I broke my first ever 100 birds here about three years a go,” added Tkaczenko, who knocked down 96 Thursday. “It has been a hot one here so far, but if you stay hydrated and cool you will be alright. At the end of the day, though, I am a little tired from the heat and it makes for an early night.”
Friday’s schedule features the Director’s Preliminary Doubles and Iowa Championship Doubles, followed by the preliminary handicap.
Saturday will be a big day as the Iowa Championship Singles will be shot with 200 targets per shooter, leading up to the Grand Nationals in two weeks.