Sophomore trap and skeet shooter Jenni Clark captured one bronze and three gold medals at the National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA) Northeast Regional Championship in Kennedyville, Md. The event is part of the National Champion Tour, which serves as a Team USA qualifying match.

Sporting clays is a form of clay pigeon shooting with a typical course including 10 to 15 different shooting stations laid out over natural terrain. Unlike trap and skeet, which are games of repeatable target presentations, sporting clays simulates the unpredictability of live-quarry shooting, offering a great variety of trajectories, angles, speeds, elevations, distances and target sizes. Shotguns used for sporting clays must be capable of shooting two cartridges of twelve gauge or smaller.

“Sporting clays is like golf with a shotgun. Throughout a course, the shooters might see targets crossing from either side, coming inward, going outward, flying straight up, rolling on the ground, arcing high in the air or thrown from towers. The possible target presentations are limited only by safety considerations, the terrain and the imagination of the course designer,”  said trap and skeet coach Van Boerner.

The 18-year-old Clark, who hails from Dayton, Texas, took on the challenge at Hopkins Game Farm in Maryland.

“I started shooting in 2006 when I joined my hometown’s 4-H club shooting small bore rifles. Then I was introduced to shotguns and completely fell in love. Then it just progressed from there,” Clark said.

She won the gold in Ladies Main, 5-Stand and Juniors. Clark took third place and the bronze medal in the Junior Preliminaries.

“My proudest moment from Regionals was on the plane home. I was reflecting on my performance at the shoot and realized I played to the best of my ability, which is all any shooter can ever hope for,” Clark said.

Next up for Clark is the national shooting competition, and, although that is not for another month, she has already begun preparation. Clark’s practices typically consist of two days’ trigger time, shooting between 300 and 600 rounds, and mental training exercises that she completes morning and night.

“My goal for this season is winning at the National Championship. It’s at the end of October, so this next month is grind month,” Clark said.

Last April, Clark finished third while competing for Trinity in the collegiate nationals, held in San Antonio. Clark is also an NSCA All-American and sponsored by Beretta USA and Pure Gold Chokes.

“Jenni is an amazing shooter. She has a really rare, natural talent. She just feels the target and knows the way they move down to the smallest detail, such as the direction they are spinning. She’s an amazing teammate, always encouraging and teaching others her craft,” said senior trap-and-skeet shooter Erica Post.

Trinity’s next trap and skeet competition will take place Oct. 22-27 in San Antonio.