He’s a real straight shooter.
Ryan Smithart, 20, of Oskaloosa, recently earned the designation of National Champion International Skeet Men’s Division at the USA Shooting 2013 ACUI National Clay Target Championship held this past week in San Antonio, Texas.
“I wasn’t even sure I had won until I turned around and heard my fan section cheering,” said Smithart. “That was pretty cool.”
The collegiate-level competition included seven different events, said Smithart.
With this tournament, Smithart also made it onto the USA Shooting National Junior Team, he said, which has been a goal of his for quite some time.
Although he’s been familiar with firearms for most of his life, Smithart said things really got going back when he was in the eighth grade. This was when the Oskaloosa Shooting Team was first getting going, he explained.
“It was always something that I enjoyed doing,” said Smithart, adding that the fact that he’s gotten better at the sport has been encouraging.
Smithart is currently a student at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., and is on a competitive shooting scholarship there, said Smithart’s father, Larry Gay.
“They just finished winning their tenth national collegiate championship in a row,” said Gay.
This is a real record, said Smithart.
“In fact, we’re going to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for that,” Smithart said.
Given his level of experience, the fact that Smithart has come this far in the sport is something worth recognizing, noted Gay, who also credited Smithart’s family for encouraging him along the way. The local community has also helped Smithart, noted Gay.
For those who may not know much about the sport of competitive shooting, it is gaining in popularity. Smithart said he’s seen growth in the sport since he began with it.
“I know when we started out when I was in eighth grade there was I think eight kids on the team and we’ve grown to upwards around 60 now,” said Smithart. “As far as the high school goes in the community, it’s grown. I believe its grown over the country quite largely, too.”
Gay, who coaches the Oskaloosa Shooting Team, agreed that the sport is on the rise.
Smithart agreed that being on a shooting team is a lot like being on any other sports team in that you show appreciation when your teammates do well.
Gay and Smithart said that staying away from caffeine, eating properly and getting enough sleep are all key factors in competitive shooting.
“It’s extremely important because of the blood flow to the eyes,” Gay explained. “For instance, let’s say you eat a big meal just right before you shoot. It slows your movement down.
The blood from your head starts to help digest food in your stomach, which effects your eyes.”
Smithart said it’s his goal to continue to improve with every tournament he participates in from here on out.
He’s a real straight shooter.
- CNHI/SE Iowa
Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists
A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.
VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up
Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.
Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'
What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.
The virtues of lying
Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.
Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered
You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.
Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus
Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.
An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about
It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.
Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight
In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
Former Centerville teacher drowns in Creston
A long-time Centerville Community School District teacher and coach has been identified as the man dive teams recovered from a southeast Iowa lake on Tuesday morning.
Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive
The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.
- More CNHI/SE Iowa Headlines
- Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists