Shooting.... Skeet Shooting for the Olympics

It's hard enough to see a 55 mile-per-hour flying object that is less than 5 inches in diameter and an inch in thickness.

Imagine shooting one down.

That's what you have to do in skeet shooting, and a trio of local teens do it very well.

The Hoosier Gun Swingers of Walkerton are Indiana State Champions. Now, three of their members will head to Colorado Springs for the National Junior Olympic Shotgun Championship.

"I just enjoy shooting outside and we have fun watching the targets break," 17-year-old Tony Erickson says in between shots.

"It's not a sport everyone does," Erickson continued. "Everyone thinks it's an easy sport, but it's not all that easy."

I had to learn that the hard way. Under the careful supervision of these experts, I took the gun and attempted to shoot down the birdie or clay pigeon.

I was not successful.

But Erickson and Tanner Brooks of Walkerton and LaPorte's Tim Baker are very successful. So successful that they could one day be representing the USA in the Olympics.

"The Olympics are something I've always dreamed of," the 16-year-old Brooks said with a smile on his face. "I never thought I would actually get close to it but I'm getting a little closer, step-by-step."

Step-by-step and shot-by-shot.

How's this for impressive. Brooks and Baker will also be a part of the Junior Olympic Developmental Camp in two weeks. Only six shooters in the country are invited, and the Hoosier Gun Swinger teammates are two of them!

Plus, Erickson was a part of the camp last year.

The National Junior Olympic Shotgun Championship is September 24-26 in Colorado Springs.

The trio have dedicated their season and this trip in September in honor of Erickson's grandfather who passed away in January. Fred Williams was an assistant coach for the Swingers and first showed his grandson Tony how to shoot when he was 9-years-old.

"We're really carrying along by going down to the competition and trying to get a spot on the Olympic team," Erickson said. "It really means a lot to him---I know it."

For more on the Hoosier Gun Swingers, visit the link below.


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