MASON, Mich. — Hermiston’s Tyler Pearson finished with a score of 199 to place fourth at the USA High School Clay Target League National Championships.
The competition took place July 9-11 at the Michigan Trapshooting Association Homegrounds in Mason, Michigan. Pearson shot a 99 in the first round, and went into the finals in 19th place. In the final round, he hit all 100 clay targets.
“I kind of surprised everybody,” Pearson said. “I’m just amazed I’m in the top five in the nation. That just blows my mind. I hit 99 yesterday and I hit 100 straight today. That was a huge moment for me. I could not stop smiling, I ran over and gave my dad (Jeff) a hug. He has been the one who has been with me the whole time on the range.”
In the finals, Pearson admitted he was nervous.
“I was nervous and confident at the same time,” he said. “It’s a matter of holding it together while shooting.”
He got a little help from country music artist Tim McGraw on his last target. A miss likely would have put him out of the top 10.
“The last target of the day, I called pull,” Pearson said. “I was shaking so much. I had the song ‘I Like It, I Love It,’ stuck in my head. I settled down and I blasted it out of the sky.”
The top 10 finishers received a trophy and a medal. Pearson, a 2021 graduate of Irrigon High School, also received patches for hitting 25, 50, 75 and 100 targets in a row.
“Getting the 100 patch at nationals makes it 100% better,” Pearson said. “To come here and hit 100 at nationals among a 1,000 kids is mind blowing.”
Landon Sievers and Steven Margherio of Calhoun High School (Illinois), along with Tanner Sellers Trego Community High School in Kansas, tied for first after shooting 200 over the two rounds. Sievers won the shoot-off, hitting 28 targets, while Margherio hit 27 and Sells 12.
Calhoun High School also won the team title with a 969. Hermiston finished 37th in the team standings with a 919.
There were 1,684 shooters at the competition, with 406 in the finals. The cutoff for the finals was 93 targets.
“I remember standing at one end and looking down and thinking, ‘There are a lot of people here,’” Pearson said. “There are 40 trap houses. It’s a long way to walk from one end to the other.”
Joining Pearson in the finals were teammates Kuper Bracher (96-97-193, 96th), Austin Garberg (96-91-187, 277th) and Karsten Bracher (96-90-186, 304th). Also competing for Hermiston were Allen Osmin and Dustin Hamilton.
“Everyone did amazing,” said Pearson, who has signed to shoot for Eastern Oregon University. “We all deserved to be there.”
Track and field
Pendleton’s Sam Jennings blew away the javelin competition July 10 at the USA Track & Field Oregon Association Track and Field Championships at Jesuit High School in Beaverton.
Jennings unleashed a personal best throw of 224 feet, 9¾ inches, to win the event and soar to the No. 1 spot in the nation for high school throwers.
Jennings’ previous best throw was 207-10, thrown June 26 in Boise.
Nadalie Cannell of Hermiston won the 12-14 girls division July 8-9 at the 28th annual Banner Bank Junior Invitational Tournament at the Walla Walla Country Club.
Cannell shot a 166 over two rounds to beat second-place Jayme Dwight of Pasco by 17 strokes.