College women ‘unload’ in Jacksonville Southeast Invitational Clay Shoot

Writer’s Note: As an uncertified entertainer, with no journalistic credentials whatsoever, there is a slight chance that this article contains what some may construe to be biased reporting. Mainly that the Clemson Tigers rock! With two kids currently at Clemson, one on the shotgun team, and trillions of our family stimulus funds headed to the Clemson Bursar’s office, we’ve earned that right. Sequestration what?

Who says college students shouldn’t have guns? Try telling that to Cat Blankenship Katie Stansell — both college women at Clemson University.

Cat Blankenship (left) and Katie Stansell (right) display winning smiles on their faces, and winning medals around their necks.

Cat Blankenship (left) and Katie Stansell (right) display winning smiles on their faces, and winning medals around their necks.

Katie placed first overall in the Ladies Division at the Jacksonville Southeast Invitational College Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) shoot this past Saturday, while Cat took second overall. Cat also won the Ladies Skeet and American Trap events. Yes, Clemson women rock. Go Tigers!

For any ladies looking to follow in Katie and Cat’s footsteps, here’s the skinny …

Normally shooting a Remington 11-87, Katie opted to shoot a borrowed Beretta 391 during the 2013 season.

Attention Beretta USA! Did you catch that? The Southeast Zone SCTP Ladies Spring Champion is shooting a BORROWED Beretta.

Katie did some shooting as a youth, but got serious about competitive shotgun sports while a student at Clemson. She’s been a hard-core competitive shotgunner for about two years, give or take. Also during that time, she’s managed to become a teaching assistant for Shotgun Sports at Clemson. Now THAT’S how to do your college experience!

Cat shoots a Krieghoff International K-80 shotgun. Pricey, but gorgeous. Apparently it suits her as she has won the South Carolina State Ladies Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Cat started dove hunting at the ripe old age of seven, and got into skeet shooting to improve her hunting skills. One thing led to another, which led to 4-H, which led to SCTP and next thing you know, she’s filling the barn with trophies!

The Jacksonville University shotgun squad hosted the event and made a big showing — you could spot green JU shooting vests everywhere at the Jacksonville Skeet and Trap Club. Other colleges present included Stetson, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida State University, University of North Florida and Clemson.

The event was part of the Scholastic Clay Target Program. SCTP supports youth shooting programs ranging from elementary school through collegiate levels. The SCTP was started by the National Shooting Sports Foundation in 2001 to introduce youth to safe and enjoyable shooting and promote the shooting sports for the next generation. The organization also serves to financially support shooting programs. Each college participating in the event receives $3,000 towards their SCTP Endowment with winning teams getting extra dough — $7,500 for the winning team!

But, the beautiful thing about the SCTP Collegiate program is recognition. While some of the regional and national organizations display a decidedly male focus when it comes to awards, SCTP make sure that all categories get equal recognition. In this event, ladies and men were ranked individually and equally for overall and specific events. It’s a pretty simple formula. If you want more ladies and juniors to enter the sport, make sure the ladies and juniors categories have equal footing with the traditional mens groups.

The Clemson Shotgun Team, led by coach Rick Willey (left) took overall top honors.

The Clemson Shotgun Team, led by coach Rick Willey (left) took overall top honors.

Oh, apparently there were some guys at the event too. Zach Wyatt of Clemson (Go Tigers!) took first place overall for individual men and lots of other Clemson guys placed in American Trap, Skeet, and Wobble Trap events. Did we mention that the Clemson (Go Tigers!) team took first place in the overall team competition?

Vice President Biden can rest assured that no front doors or patios were harmed during the firing of 10,000 plus rounds of 12-gauge shotgun ammunition this past weekend. GO TIGERS!

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Tom McHale for this guest post. Very few men are allowed to enter the lioness’s den (AKA The WON), and come back out alive …
About the author: Tom McHale was born a helpless, shooting-deprived infant. He later discovered the joys of collecting and shooting guns, reloading ammunition and writing about his adventures, with a healthy dose of fun.
His most recent projects is publishing a series of informative books under the Insanely Practical Guides brand. You can learn more at He also produces a website, that is a half-cocked but right on target look at the world of shooting and all things related. If you want to learn, as well as, laugh about guns, shooting products, personal defense, competition, industry news and the occasional Second Amendment issue, visit him there.


  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.