Top guns: Del Oro boy, Oakmont girl victorious at trapshooting series

By: Roxie Rice / Special to the Journal
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When Clay Thomas’ mother, Kristin, named her newborn son Clay, she was not prepared for the synchronicity that would follow.

“I had no idea of the way the name Clay would play out in his life,” Kristin Thomas said.

Her son, Del Oro High School junior Clay Thomas, shot 100 out of 100 clay targets for a perfect score in the second series tournament of the recent California Youth Shooting Sports Association (CYSSA) held at Coon Creek Trap and Skeet Club in Lincoln.

“This was his first perfect score in competition despite being the 2012 JV US Open Champion in Las Vegas last July with a score of 197 out of 200 over two days,” a beaming Kristin Thomas explained. “Although he’s had a lot of experience with shooting and guns, this is only his second year in trapshooting and we couldn’t be more proud of his accomplishments.”

There were 260 school age shooters at Coon Creek with another 400 CYSSA shooters spread between Auburn and Martinez, making Thomas the best of 650 shooters on the day.

Del Oro coach Fred Jenson, who himself was a champion in the Jr. shooting division in the 1970s, came to the Del Oro team in 2007, a year after its inception.

“In those days, there were 15-20 shooters in the entire shoot. Now there are 57 competitors just on the Del Oro team.” Jenson said. “I’m thrilled at the way the sport has grown. The kids love it and the families love it. Everyone out here, regardless of team affiliation, is part of a giant family.”

Aiming to secure the Coon Creek varsity second place behind Thomas were four shooters tied at 98 on the day, forcing a suspenseful head-to-head sudden-death shootout match.

After the first shootout round, three shooters were left but another quickly dropped early in round two.

Remaining were 5-foot Tori Rothman, a sophomore at Roseville’s Oakmont High School and a member of Team Coon Creek, vs. Truckee High School’s Jon Friesen to decide second and third place.

By the end of round two, Rothman had blasted her way to a second-place victory after shooting two perfect rounds against Friesen’s 49 of 50 clays. Rothman’s five years of experience with the Lincoln-based Coon Creek Club proved her adept under fire in a typically male-dominated sport.

Claiming third place behind Thomas and Rothman, Truckee’s Friesen, was happy to have placed.

“The competition was tough,” he said. “This is my last year so I really wanted to take one home for Truckee.”