The fall of 2019 marks the second season of Clay Target in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference, as 12 teams are set to compete for the MCAC Regular Season Championship in two, 6-team Divisions and look to prepare their athletes for the 2019 MCAC Fall Championships to be held at the Grand Rapids Gun Club on Tuesday, October 15.
Three new college programs join the original nine members of the MCAC Clay Target competition, an initiative made possible through collaboration with the USA Clay Target League, the leading independent provider of clay target shooting sports for secondary and postsecondary schools. The MCAC / USA Clay Target inaugural season in 2018 saw over 150 student-athletes and dozens of coaches, range safety officers and athletic administrators come together to produce a successful league and championship event.
Conference registration for participants closed over the Labor Day weekend; in 2019, 275 student-athletes representing 12 MCAC programs will take part in one of two Divisions. MCAC squad sizes range from around 10 student-athletes to a largest team of 45 individuals. Teams with less than 20 student-athletes shall compete in the Blue Division, while teams ranging between 21 and 45 participants shall be in the Red Division. Divisional team placement for all twelve colleges will be announced Thursday, September 5.
USA Clay Target provides MCAC programs the ability to compete using the True Team scoring format; this key component of the MCAC-USA Clay Target partnership allows teams of similar size to compete weekly from their home gun range facility. For more on the USA Clay Target True Team scoring format, click here or go to: http://usacollegeclaytarget.com/rules/true-team-scoring/
The most recent registration numbers reflect the meteoric growth of the sport in the Upper Midwest and nationwide; in particular, all three new programs- Ridgewater College, Alexandria Technical & Community College and North Dakota State College of Science show strong first-year numbers. Alexandria Tech will feature a 23-person team, Ridgewater's two campuses (Hutchinson & Willmar) combine for a roster of 37 and NDSCS will field a 44-person squad in their first year.
In addition from growing from nine programs to 12 teams in 2019, the number of women participating has also increased. The 2018 MCAC regular season featured 24 women among the 152 registered athletes; in 2019, 38 of the 275 participants are female. North Dakota State College of Science will also be led by the first female head coach in the MCAC Clay Target ranks as Erin Johnson mentors her team, beginning this fall. Read more about the new NDSCS program at this link, or go to: https://www.mcacsports.org/general/2019-20/releases/20190819lna7xy
On average, each team roster size in 2019 increase by 81% for those colleges who also competed in 2018. The average squad size for teams new to the sport in 2019 is over 34 athletes per squad.
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, as well as select member colleges in North Dakota and Wisconsin. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.
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