Missouri youth athletes at the Scholastic Clay Target National Championship began crushing targets on July 13 and impressively finished on July 20, 2019. The event was held at the Cardinal Center in Marengo, Ohio and broke previous attendance records. Athletes, coaches and their families began the week with warm temperatures that continued to rise as they reached the final couple of days. Squads that shot on Wednesday morning started the day wringing out their gear as a storm front moved in for the first few hours of the day. Athletes in attendance were able to compete in trap singles, handicap, trap doubles, American skeet, bunker trap, sporting clays and doubles skeet. Any athlete participating in all the events would take aim at 1200 targets over the course of the week. For many the event at the Cardinal Center was the first time shooting with a shot curtain in the background. Most athletes said that the shot curtain helped them visualize the target better than in the past. The curtain itself was impressive as it spanned the entire trap line of 52 houses.
Teams from Missouri had a strong showing at the event with an athlete and/or squad taking a podium placement in every event offered. The number of competitors in each event was larger than ever, with the American Trap Singles having 2017 athletes competing, skeet entries requiring athletes to compete at a neighboring facility and the bunker trap event reaching maximum capacity. The Missouri All-State Team, comprised of five athletes from three different Missouri teams (Arnold Junior Shooters, Poplar Bluff Trap Team and Team Henges), placed second in the trap singles event. For the American trap singles championship, Grace Marlen, representing Team Henges and Missouri, was the first lady to shoot 200/200 at the Nationals event. She continued the run by shooting an additional 75/75 in a shoot-off against the other 2 athletes that shot 200 and brought home top honors as well as the Browning Scholarship worth over $7000. This is the third time in the last four years that a Missouri athlete has earned the top podium spot at the SCTP National event.