CEDAR FALLS — The campers and RV’s began to pull into the State Association Grounds this past weekend for the 142nd Iowa State Trapshoot.
Cruising through the parking lot on the grounds just north of Cedar Falls, the license plates read like an almanac.
North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Texas and 16 other states were spotted, and some registered shooters had addresses from New Zealand, England, Australia and even the Czech Republic.
“It is quite the site to see all these people from all over coming here to shoot,” first-year president Steve Glasgow said. “They come here to shoot, yet most of them come to renew friendships of those they have met from shoots before. It is like a big family gathering for a lot of them.”
The shooting events kicked off on Tuesday and were off to a booming start until a severe thunderstorm interrupted the schedule Thursday.
“The severity of the weather did cause us to push the Director’s Preliminary Doubles to Friday morning,” Glasgow said. “But it has been a great week so far with over 2,000 registered shooters here and this year we had a great Hall Of Fame induction with two great ladies being inducted. Donna Polance Murphy and Jo Ann Nelson will officially be entered on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Morgan Krinke of Lincoln, Neb. stole the show. Krinke defeated Robert Gropp of Wisconsin in the out-of-state handicap at 18-21 yards.
With both shooters bagging 93 birds for a tie, a shoot-off was scheduled to decide the champion. Krinke broke 24 targets to Gropp’s 23 to win the title. It was her second title in two nights.
“I did not start shooting until about two years ago,” Krinke said. “I was at a 4-H thing and shot with the guys there. They said I was a good shooter and that I should join the local high school team, so I did. It was a great move for me and I have found something I really love to do.”
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Krinke splashed her 24th bird, then turned to pack her bags and head off to yet another shoot.
“This is a great facility here in Iowa and I will definitely come back,” said Krinke. “But now we are heading back home because I am going to shoot there this weekend.”
Another shoot-off was needed to crown a runner-up medal for the in-state competition.
Chayden Wright had already wrapped up the championship with a 98, leaving Justin O’Neal and Keaton Woosley tied for second place. O’Neal took the honors with 24 breaks.
“I was hoping to come here and have a good week of shooting,” said O’Neal. “I did not do that well last year here, because I had just gotten my appendix out and my doctor said I really shouldn’t attend.
“Well, it’s in your blood and I wanted to compete. In 2014 I shot a perfect 200 but then lost in a shoot-out. So this year it felt pretty good to win a shoot-out, even for second.”
O’Neal and his wife, Katie, make the trip from Norwalk and enjoy the time together. They travel to as many shoots as they can.
“I like to travel and I like to be there for Justin,” Katie said.
“She is my biggest supporter and we have fun with this,” said O’Neal. “Besides, this is Iowa and what else should you do?”