Mt Pleasant News

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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 15, 2018

Raub rakes in trophies at Nationals

12-year-old trap shooter named Pre-Sub High Lady in second trip to Grand Nationals
Aug 08, 2018
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Courtney Raub poses with her shotgun and various trophies earned at the AIM Grand Nationals in Sparta Ill. Raub took home the top spot in the .22 Caliber Handgun Challenge, the ATA 25 Bird 28 Gauge Event, the .22 Caliber Bolt-Action Rifle Challenge, the Make-A-Break Challenge, the Doubles Championship and the AIM 50 Bird International Wobble.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


Trap shooting in Mt. Pleasant seems to be a family affair. Due to the club-team atmosphere and the need for parents to drive the competitors around to different shoots, it’s not hard to see how younger siblings can catch a passion for the growing sport after watching their older siblings compete.

That was the case for Courtney Raub, who started shooting in fifth grade, following in the footsteps of her older brother. Courtney, who is now 12 years old got into the sport after watching older brother Tyler, who is now a highschooler.

Raub started shooting with a 20 gauge shot gun. It was a lighter 20 gauge and she recalled feeling the kick back every time it shot. Eventually she went out and got a 12 gauge that didn’t kick as much, but still remembers the bumps and bruises she got early on.

“My best friend and I both shot 20 gauges,” Raub says. “We’d go to school and we’d have bruises all over our faces, and have black and blue shoulders.”

It didn’t take long for the younger Raub to make a name for herself on the trapshooting scene. In fact, she made quite a splash at the AIM (Academics, Integrity, Marksmanship) Grand Championships in Sparta, Ill. at the end of July.

Raub had a fantastic week at Grand Nationals, winning six trophies and a couple other awards over the course of the competition and eventually being named Pre-Sub Champion High Lady, which is the top honor in her class.

Raub was coming off a sixth-place finish at high school state singles earlier in July and continued to impress once she hit the big stage.

It was Raub’s second trip to Grand Nationals, which she says helped the pre-contest nerves. Raub also credits the Mt. Pleasant trap community, which traveled well to watch the competitors in action.

“I went to nationals last year and this year so I was more comfortable doing it,” Raub explained. “You have some nerves at the beginning because you’re stressed and nervous about your scores, but it was really fun because we had some (people) from the school there, so there were a couple of families who shoot trap with the team there.”

A few familiar faces helped calm Raub’s nerves and she said it made the atmosphere feel more relaxed.

“It was really fun because we had a little picnic thing there,” she says. “That gets the nerves down, so it’s like a fun shoot.”

Once the events were over, it was time for the trophies to start filling in. Raub received award after award, something that was a surprise to her. Her dad, Adam Raub, knew she had earned trophies in quite a few events, but according to her mother Linda Raub, he did a good job of keeping his lips sealed.

“Her dad kept it a secret,” Linda says. “I think he told her she was going to get one trophy and she got six.”

Those six trophies were for her wins in six different events in the Pre-Sub Lady’s competition.

Raub took home first-place trophies for the following events: .22 Caliber Handgun Challenge, ATA 25 Bird 25 Gauge, .22 Caliber Bolt-Action Rifle Challenge, the Make-A-Break Challenge and the Doubles Championship.

Although Raub is obviously well established in a variety of events, she says her most comfortable events are the doubles event and the 28 gauge events.

Another milestone Raub reached was shooting her a perfect 25-25, which came in the singles competition. Perfect scores are rare in the Pre-Sub Lady’s division and this was Raub’s first ever perfect score in competition.

“I was so happy,” Raub says. “I was crazy. I was jumping around and hi-fiving everyone. It was awesome.”

A lot of Raub’s success is due to preparation and teaching from coaches Jim Smith and John Klopfenstein. Her dad and brother also give her tips before the meets. She says she sometimes listens to music beforehand to get herself ready for the event. Her band of choice, she says, is Metallica.

Raub is just one of many Henry County students that fill their spring and summer with various shoots. Trap shooting is not sanctioned by the Iowa High School Athletic Association or the Iowa Girls’ Athletic Union, meaning the sport isn’t school-funded.

The local trapshooting athletes compete in events all around the state during regular season, but major events like the AIM Nationals usually take place in the summer months, so when the temperature starts to rise, you can bet on finding families like the Raub’s out on the range, gearing up for their next trip.

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