CEDAR FALLS — Nick Vsetecka was a state champion, but could not claim his Iowa High School State Trapshooting trophy for nearly two days.
Vsetecka dropped a perfect score of 200 birds Friday, in singles, but had to wait until Sunday morning to confirm his title.
With over 3,500 athletes competing over a four-day period, the singles competition began shooting on Friday and finished up late Saturday, and Vsetecka had to wait and wait and wait, to see if any other shooters could match his score, forcing a shoot-off.
Sunday came and the senior from Solon remained the only unblemished score card giving him the title outright.
“Technically I found out last night but it was confirmed this morning when we got here,” Vsetecka said. “I wasn’t quite sure of my score holding up because there are so many great shooters here. When I got here and saw the scores, quite honestly, I was so relieved I did not have to go to a shoot-off in these high winds (35 mph) and I could just sit back and relax and enjoy the day.
“I just can’t wait to get my hands on the trophy. What a way to end my high school career.”
While Vsetecka was sitting in the shade out of harms way, a shoot-off was needed to claim second place.
Three marksmen were slated for extra targets, as Clinton Manning (Maquoketa), Evan Ingalls (Algona) and Treven Stallman (Solon) all took a post.
When the smoke had cleared, Manning was best of the rest as he downed all 25 targets he saw, while Ingalls and Stallman had to re-shoot after tying with 22 clays. Ingalls went perfect with 25 down taking third place honors.
“This was my fourth shoot-off this week so I was not too nervous out there,” Manning said. “I shot against Treven earlier and him and I are good friends, but I did not know (Ingalls) the other guy. With the wind blowing like it was I just watched the birds a little longer before I shot. It worked out well and when the first shot was missed I felt pretty good and then they missed a couple more times and I thought just don’t blow this you have a chance.”
When the final shots rang out Manning shook the hands of his competitors then smiled to the crowd.
“I was so glad when this was over,” Manning said. “This is my senior year and I am very happy to be taking home a trophy.”
Taking trophies home has been a normal thing for Solon junior Nicole Breese. After finishing first in handicap, doubles and team last season, Breese had already captured the doubles and team championship trophy this year, plus the 2017 Ladies All-Around with a 322.
After losing the singles title last season in a shoot-off, Breese was determined to claim the prize this year. To do so, she would have to beat a very strong and talented Mckenna Wohlers from Loess Hills Youth Shooting Sports.
Both ladies splashed 198 targets earlier and were in a showdown on Sunday for the state championship.
“I was a little nervous two hours before we shot,” Breese said. “I settled my stomach down and just went out and tried not to think of the other person. I was still shaking when I started, then she missed one and I knew I could not relax, I had to keep focused.”
Wohlers missed once again on flight number 10, as the clay left the house and immediately took a dive from the wind, causing Wohlers to miss.
“When she missed that one I knew it still was not a good cushion,” Breese said. “I just had to shoot and know that no matter what I was going to get a medal.”
The title went to Breese as she nailed a perfect 25, adding more hardware to her trophy case.
For Wohlers, it was not the end of the world as she shot her best and placed for a state medal.
“I was nervous but I also knew that no matter how I did I would still place, and get a medal,” said Wohlers. “That tenth target really took a dive when it came out and I missed. It is okay though, I am happy with how I did.”
Both ladies helped their teams claim trophies as well, with Breese’s 198 pacing her Solon Trojans to a state team title, whereas, Wohlers shooting a squad high 198, helping her team take second place.