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Eleven-year-old Caitlin Cravens is a trapshooting success

Caitlin Cravens, 11, shot 171 at Nationals for a first place spot. (Submitted photo)

Caitlin Cravens of Hudson is not your average 11-year-old. Not only is she on the Hudson High School shooting team as a sixth-grader, she also shot 171 out of 200 at Nationals in Illinois last month.

Cravens was first introduced to shooting by her sister, Briana, and her father, Mike. She started going with them to the Hudson Rod, Gun and Archery Club on Lake Mallalieu in North Hudson to watch them practice trap shooting, and decided she wanted to try it.

Trapshooting is competitive clay pigeon shooting where the clay targets are launched from a machine and shot out of the sky. The club the Cravens family practices at offers trap shooting every Tuesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from April 10-Sept. 7.

This year is Cravens’ first time being a part of the HHS Shooting Team, The Hudson Raiders. The team introduces youth to clay target sports and provides and promotes safe and enjoyable opportunities for students to experience the sport.

Cravens proved to be a good fit for the team, even at such a young age, when she competed at the state level in the 2014 WI SCIP Trap Championship this summer. She shot an impressive 83 at the 100 target 16 round American Trap event, which landed her a first place spot in the rookie category over 24 other boys and girls.

After a successful first competition, Cravens went to shoot as an individual in the rookie category at Nationals where she competed against 10 other girls from four different states in the 200 target 16 yard trap event. Cravens shot 171 and landed, once again, in first place.

She was the only member of the HHS shooting team that went to Illinois to compete on July 14-19.

Nationals was hosted by the Scholastic Shooting Sports Foundation (SSFF) which is the largest youth shooting program in the country. All together, the competition had around 2,000 kids shooting in a variety of events.

“I loved the area, it was really pretty,” Cravens said about where the competition was held. “I love how everyone gets so involved and how nice it’s set up. They have a section for everything, like skeet and trap shooting.”

Craven ended the season on a high note at Nationals and will continue to practice shooting for the upcoming season at the beginning of April. She plans on continuing to shoot through middle school and high school.

“My favorite part about shooting is if you lose, you still have fun and you’re not all bummed about it,” Craven said. “It’s a lot of responsibility and it’s still a sport!”