New shooters take aim at ACUI Upper East Coast Regionals
November 10, 2017 | Lynchburg, Va.
Dave Hartman, Executive Director and Head Coach of Liberty University's first-year Shooting Sports program, will take his top eight team members to Saturday's and Sunday's first official competition, the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Upper East Coast Regional Championships at the Prince George's County Trap and Skeet Center in Glenn Dale, Md.
The Collegiate Clay Target Shotgun Bowl Series tournament is not a qualifier for the ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Championships, set for March 26-April 1 in San Antonio, but it will help prepare Liberty's shooters for nationals with competitions in American Trap, American Skeet, and Sporting Clays as well as an introductory Super Sporting Clays event similar to the Five Stand.
Hartman recruited 63 men's and women's shooters to the first-year program and they began practicing in early October at the new Liberty Mountain Gun Club range, which is in Phase 1 of a five-phase building project located across the street from the Hydaway Outdoor Recreation Center.
Phase 1 included the construction of trap and skeet shooting fields, where future home tournament finals will take place. Phase 2 will add another trap and skeet field as well as a sporting clay range.
"Getting the students started up on a brand new range has been a lot of fun," Hartman said. "I have the best kids in the world. They have the best attitudes, the best mindsets. I am just so blessed."
Hartman held an intra-squad competition among his 30 shotgun student-athletes to determine team rankings based on aggregate scores in all three shotgun disciplines.
Sophomore Tommy Hartman, freshman Jon Britton, junior David Lancaster, freshman Jacob Davis, freshman James Bushnell, sophomore Landon Dalton, freshman Chloe Sterner, and freshman Logan Hutson shot the top eight scores, respectively, earning the trip to regionals.
"I am confident that they are going to do a good job," Dave Hartman said. "They have only had four weeks of practice together, but I am optimistic and sure they will improve as the season goes along."
He plans to send about the same-sized team to nationals, where Liberty will compete in American Trap, American Skeet, Sporting Clays, Super Sporting Clays, International Trap, and International Skeet.
"What I hope to do is to lay the groundwork through those two events and other events that we do so that the team will have a tradition through the years of a competitive spirit, where they show the rest of the world that they love the Lord (and) they love their sport," Hartman said. "I want them to have a winning attitude, to work hard and develop their skill in the sport (so) they can compete head-to-head with a really good heart and to show the world what kind of a student a Liberty student really is."