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Trapshooter hits his mark

G. Sean KellyGSPI Sports Editor

Glenwood Springs resident Cliff Haycock has found himself with a little extra time on his hands in recent years, and he seems to be using that time wisely.”I’m in that mode in life where I’m not working all the time,” the 66-year-old Haycock said. “I fill it in with fishing, hunting and trapshooting.”If Haycock’s fishing and hunting skills are anything close to his prowess on the trapshooting range, he’s eating well.Haycock, who was inducted into the Colorado State Trapshooting Hall of Fame last year, was recently selected to the Amateur Trapshooting Association All-American Team for the veteran class (65-69 years old).

“This is a little more prestigious (than the Colorado Hall of Fame) – to be able to make the All-American Team,” said Haycock, who has competed for the Colorado State Team a number of times. “In Colorado you’re shooting against 750 shooters. In this you’re shooting against several thousand veterans across all the states.”Haycock finished ninth in the veteran All-American rankings. The top 10 in the United States and Canada earn first-team honors. The selection is based on points accumulated while winning trophies and posting high scores at tournaments throughout the country. Along with meeting a minimum target requirement, shooters must compete in at least three different states even to be considered for ATA All-American honors.Haycock began gunning for All-American honors in the fall of 2003. He had just wrapped up an exceptional season that included the top veteran class all-around average in the country (.9589). Perhaps more impressive, the mark was the second best season all-around for a veteran shooter in the history of the ATA, an organization that started more than a century ago. “I thought, if I could beat everybody in the whole United States, I could get All-American,” Haycock said.

He was right.At the Grand American – ATA’s national tournament near Dayton, Ohio, each August – Haycock won the veteran title in the Champion of Champions event. The event was open to only the current singles champions from each state or Canadian province. Haycock won the event going 100-for-100, plus three shootoff rounds.In the Colorado State Shoot he won the veteran singles title, resident age-group honors in the championship double and handicap, the all-around crown and the high overall.He also earned trophies while competing in Missouri and Wyoming state tournaments.

Chasing All-American status is obviously an enormous commitment with the travel and time involved. But Haycock describes the events as “a great time. I love the competition and have lots and lots of friends.”Still Haycock has “got to do some other things than just shoot.”So whether he tries to improve his No. 9 All-American status this year is up in the air. But he’s getting some shots in now, just in case.”I did just get back from Tucson (Ariz.) and got some good points.”


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