Shooting for scholarships

MARSHALL – Shooting clays is not as expensive to get into as some shooting sports, all you need is an off-the-rack shotgun. But on the other hand, the targets are moving very quickly, and you have a limited time to take aim and fire.

Maybe that’s what makes it so much fun.

On Saturday, 108 shooting enthusiasts gathered at Shooters Sporting Clays just east of Marshall for the eighth annual Mustang Shoot-out to raise money for athletic scholarships at Southwest Minnesota State University.

“They compete in teams of four at 18 different stations,” said Adam Henning, assistant director of athletic communication at SMSU. “Each shoots 100 clays, and there’s two optional, the Frenzy and the Flurry.”

In the Frenzy and Flurry, shooters try to shoot 80 targets in three minutes. There is also an shootoff between the winners of this year’s competition and any winners of the past seven years who happen to be present, which doesn’t count for the final score, just the glory.

“The men’s basketball team has a representative at each station to give the players a chance to get to know the athletes,” Henning said.

There were shooters competing who had been to every Shoot-off for the past eight years, and some who had never competed before.

This was Mike Dulas’ eighth year.

“First of all, I come just for the camaraderie with the guys,” Dulas said. “I got 12 out of 100 my first year. Kind of discouraging. But I fell in with a couple of guys who mentored me. I’m still not as good as I’d like, but I got 75 out of 100.”

Jack McDonough only started shooting this summer and competed on a team with four more experienced shooters.

“This is my first time ever,” McDonough said. “I just started this summer, but I’ll be back. I can’t wait.”