Josh Poole is a shooting star in the world of trap and skeet. A first year with only a month of campus life under his belt, Josh has already set world records as a collegiate athlete. Shooting the first perfect score in the National Skeet Shooting Association Collegiate World Championship history, Poole is also the youngest person in trap and skeet history to shoot a perfect score.

“My ultimate goal is to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Just because I set those records does not mean that I automatically qualify, though,” Poole said. “I plan to do all the hard work and training to get there. That’s what I’m working towards.”

His success has been a long time in the making. At the age of five, Poole joined his dad on a dove hunt, where his natural gift was recognized. From there, his parents bought him a handheld skeet shooting machine before they eventually built a shooting range in their backyard. Poole went on to train with renowned skeet coach Kyle Schumaker, joined the National Skeet Shooting Association and was eventually offered sponsorship deals with big-name shooting brands such as Briley Manufacturing.

The hard work Poole has put into his sport is just as outstanding as his accolades. Training every single day, even outdoors in bad weather, Poole combines physical work with mental preparation to develop his skills.

“Skeet shooting is repetitive; it’s about conditioning the body to have muscle memory. I try to block out all of my thoughts while I’m shooting and let it come naturally,” Poole said.

Despite the difficult mental and physical practice, along with competitions far away each weekend, Poole still managed to finish sixth in his Crawford High School class and is planning on majoring in engineering here at Trinity.

The choice to come to Trinity came as naturally as Poole’s shooting abilities.

“The combination of academics, location, campus life and the trap and skeet club team led by Coach Van Boerner is what made Trinity my ideal school,” Poole said.

Boerner knew of Poole four years prior to his arrival at Trinity through mutual circles.

“Known as a hard-driven competitor, Poole is certain to do even more great things as a collegiate athlete, not only for himself but for Trinity,” Boerner said.

Although adjusting to a new training environment is a big change for any athlete, Poole has all the resources he needs. The trap and skeet team practices at the San Antonio Gun Club, which is a mere 10 minutes from campus. Along with Poole, there are eight other members of the trap and skeet club at Trinity, all of whom are competitive in their own disciplines of the sport, making the team well rounded in competitions.

Boerner is excited about having Poole on his team, not purely because of his talents but also because of his personality.

“Josh is a natural leader, very outgoing, very personable, very well liked—type of individual that any type of person can feel comfortable around. People tend to gravitate towards his attitude towards the game. He is an inspiration to others,” Boerner said.