COLUMBUS, Kan. — It’s been a big week for hitting targets in Southeast Kansas with the 2021 U.S. Open clay shooting event taking place at the Claythorne Lodge.
A seven-day event, the U.S. Open features participants from all around the country, including one individual who will represent Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.
The event itself includes individuals from 45 different states and some even from foreign countries like Jamaica and Colombia. There will also be plenty of opportunities to hit flying discs as there will be more than one million clay targets thrown over the course of the week.
It’s similar to that of golf in that no course is the exact same. But just like scoring a hole-in-one, there’s no greater feeling than getting a direct hit. ‘Pull’ is a universal term when it comes to clay shooting for when you’re ready to hit a target, and many of the shooters will be pulling for Girard High School grad and southeast Kansas native Derrick Mein as he heads to Tokyo in July.
“You run into people you haven’t seen in years and they all somehow know that I made the Olympic team,” Mein said. “I feel very fortunate that I get to represent some of the best people on the planet. Everywhere I’ve been on my travels, there’s not a better group of people that I’ve been around my entire life.”
Mein is set to compete in the men’s trap event July 28 and 29 in the individuals event and then will partake in the mixed teams event on July 31.