Also, only Purdue University shooters qualified for the 1996 All-American Shotgun Team.
The Association of College Unions-International sanctions championships in sports that are not sanctioned by the NCAA. The shooting competition, which has been dominated by varsity teams for several decades, comprises five events: Olympic trap, Olympic skeet, American trap, American skeet and sporting clays.
Purdue was team champion in Olympic trap and Olympic skeet and was runner-up in the other three events. Purdue also won the high overall team championship, beating George Mason University's varsity team by 29 targets out of a total of 1,850.
In addition to the three team national championships, Purdue won three high individual national championships.
The Purdue Trap and Skeet Club now has won 37 national and world championships. A Purdue squad has won the collegiate championship at the Grand American World Trapshooting Tournament for 11 consecutive years. Nine of the 10 highest scores ever recorded at the tournament have been shot by Purdue teams.
Shillington's high combined score in Olympic trap and Olympic skeet at the ACU-I meet earned him a position on the U.S. Olympic Development Team. John Voliva, a sophomore in pharmacy from Evansville, already is a member of the development team. Purdue coach Charles L. Rhykerd said the development team is the "bottom rung" on the Olympics shooting ladder. "The average age of the members of the Olympic team is 37," he said, "and the development team is where the younger shooters start out."
Purdue shooters also swept all three positions on the 1996 All-American Shotgun Team. Shillington, a member of the 1995 All-American Skeet Team and the All-American Trap Team, was again named to those teams in 1996. Voliva was named to the 1996 All-American Trap Team, and Tony Colletti, a freshman in computer technology from Lake Villa, Ill., was named to the All-American Skeet Team.
The All-Americans are chosen based on their academic standing as well as their performance in the Olympic shooting events.
Other Purdue shooters who earned gold medals as members of the high overall team are Jeff Miller, a junior in aviation technology fom Bradley, Ill.; Bryan Nemec, a sophomore in industrial technology from Naperville, Ill.; Russell Paige, a junior in aviation technology from Anderson; and Kirby Woods, a junior in agricultural and biological engineering from Odell, Ill.
Rhykerd, associate director of International Programs in Agriculture and professor of agronomy, has been faculty adviser and volunteer coach of the Purdue Trap and Skeet Club since it was chartered in 1977. Rhykerd was named the Collegiate Coach of the Year in 1991 by the National Rifle Association.
The club is one of 25 sport clubs at Purdue that are a part of the Division of Recreational Sports. Members pay all their own expenses, but Purdue provides transportation to competitions. Coaches and advisers are volunteers.
The club has its own facilities at the gravel pit on the south side of campus.
Source: Charles Rhykerd, (765) 494-8459; home, (765) 463-6486; Internet, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Frank J. Koontz, (765) 494-2080; home, (765) 742-8371; Internet, email@example.com
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