2022 was a year for redemption and reaching for new heights at the SASP Action College Nationals. Held on a three-day schedule, the match was hosted at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park on March 11-13th. This year saw an increase in participation as colleges and universities began to better navigate travel and safety considerations since the disruption in 2020. The prestigious National Championship event saw both the return of previously absent teams and newly established shooting programs.
In a sport of walking the edge of blazing speed with acceptable accuracy, collegiate athletes negotiated the courses of fire, working as a team to achieve the fastest times in team aggregate scoring. The vast majority of shooting sports measure athletes as individuals, whereas the Scholastic Action Shooting Program not only focuses on youth development, but also utilizes a team aspect seen in typical ball sports.
Youth shooting sports also provides a level playing field. The sport does not favor the strongest or tallest athlete, or even gender. In fact, females claimed the overall National Champion title in two shooting disciplines.
Just over one hundred athletes competed at the match, part of sixteen different teams from ten different states. Ready to give their best performances and fastest times, teams were eager to bring home the Tammy L. Mowry Rifle Cup and Daniel C. Hodne Pistol Cup traveling trophies. 2021’s championship saw a huge upset with Liberty University claiming both titles. Still feeling the sting from last year’s defeat, Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit was keen on reclaiming the pistol cup, to confirm their dedication to the centerfire pistol discipline.
|Participating athletes more than doubled from last year’s match, signifying a rebound in both popularity of shooting sports and an easement of travel restrictions. Part of this rebound is the recently formed team from Arizona State University, the Sun Slingers. This and other new teams are joining long-established programs in providing opportunities for young adults to experience and excel at shooting sports. Some of these teams are simply club organizations, whereas others are fully-fledged shooting programs with scholarship opportunities.
|As part of SASP’s mission of youth development through shooting sports is the expansion to Olympic-style disciplines. Just days following the Action National Championships, the SASP put on the 2022 Intercollegiate Pistol Nationals at multiple CMP venues. In support of both collegiate competitions were members of USA Shooting, introducing athletes of all disciplines to the sport of Olympic 25 Meter Rapid Fire Pistol.
Over the three-days, well over 44,000 rounds were safely fired at the 2022 SASP Action College Nationals. Following Sunday morning’s flight of scheduled competition, scores were calculated, verified, and posted. During the afternoon’s award ceremony, squad awards and high overall honors for individuals were given. After numerous medals were received for various rifle and pistol disciplines, the Tammy L. Mowry Rifle Cup and Daniel C. Hodne Pistol Cup remained on the table.
First up was the Rifle Cup, awarded to the team with the fastest rifle squad time for any of the three rifle disciplines in SASP (iron sight rimfire, optic sights, and Pistol Caliber Carbine). Bringing the cup home to Wisconsin was Concordia University, edging out Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State University in the Optics Rifle discipline. Helping bring home the cup was Concordia’s Nathan Fingeroos, adding the High Overall National Champion to the list of accomplishments for the Falcons.
Long seen as the mainstay of College Nationals is the Centerfire Pistol discipline, which has been a focus for the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets Marksmanship Unit. In fact, for five consecutive years, the Aggies have defended their title, each year bringing back the Daniel C. Hodne Pistol Cup home to College Station, TX. 2021’s championship saw the Aggies unseated, with Liberty University decidedly winning the title and taking physical possession of the trophy. This year, the Marksmanship Unit’s performance was enough to reclaim the familiar championship title. Breaking their reserved, regimented demeanor, if only for a second, the team walked up and happily received the honors of fastest team in the nation in centerfire pistol.
|With another Collegiate National Championship in the books, the SASP thanks its sponsors for their incredible support, including Founding Partner Sponsors, GLOCK and RUGER, along with Sustaining Partner Sponsor, Walker’s Hearing Protection.
|Currently, thousands of junior-aged SASP athletes are training for state and regional level events, leading up to the Junior National Championship this summer. Each July, tens of thousands of junior athletes, coaches, parents, program sponsors, and more converge on the Cardinal Shooting Center in Marengo, OH. Included in this massive event is the SASP’s sister program, the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP), where youth athletes compete in team-based clay target sports. Deemed as the largest competition in Cardinal Center history and the largest action shooting match in the world, Nationals is poised to break more records this July.